Who is to blame?

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

I was glad to see that James Kelly our con­stituency MSP is still on the ball over the GP out of hours is­sue.

He is right, the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and NHS La­nark­shire are hop­ing that peo­ple will have for­got­ten about it and they can go ahead with the changes un­chal­lenged.

They have been eco­nom­i­cal with the truth through­out and it seems the right hand does not know what the left hand is do­ing or so they would have us be­lieve. I wrote to Shona Ro­bi­son, the health min­is­ter and to the chief ex­ec­u­tive of NHS La­nark­shire who both have a don’t care at­ti­tude on this is­sue and are play­ing ping pong with it, bat­ting it back and for­ward to each other to try to con­fuse the public. NHS La­nark­shire has all its plans in place for the changes and claims that they are await­ing the na­tional re­view of out of hours ser­vices. The health min­is­ter claims they are wait­ing for the fi­nal out­come of the NHS La­nark­shire re­view. The public are no wiser.

This is an is­sue which af­fects ev­ery­one liv­ing in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang. It’s a cer­tainty that if GP out of hours is moved to Hamil­ton or Air­drie then we will also be ex­pected to use La­nark­shire hos­pi­tals. As far as I am aware, NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde has not raised any is­sue about be­ing able to pro­vide an out of hours GP ser­vice in this area but I would like to see fig­ures for the num­bers from this area who use it. I have all the doc­u­ments sent to me by James Kelly in Jan­uary 2014 when I first raised this is­sue in the Re­former. No other politi­cian took this up although they all jumped on the band­wagon just be­fore the elec­tion. I have also read the con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ments is­sued by NHS La­nark­shire. The fig­ures for the num­bers in La­nark­shire (not in­clud­ing Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang) who cur­rently use the out of hours ser­vice don’t make sense and are sim­ply not be­liev­able. They show that the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of users are chil­dren be­tween the ages of zero and five who are brought there by car by their par­ents. I don’t be­lieve the ex­tremely low num­bers of older peo­ple us­ing the ser­vice and the num­bers of home vis­its or re­fer­rals to hos­pi­tal.

Our area has a dis­pro­por­tion­ately high num­ber of el­derly peo­ple per head of pop­u­la­tion. These are of­ten peo­ple with com­plex med­i­cal needs. There is low car own­er­ship here and there are still ar­eas of high un­em­ploy­ment and eco­nomic de­pri­va­tion.

NHS La­nark­shire would not have or­gan­ised a public meet­ing at Ruther­glen Town Hall if they were not plan­ning changes. It was just a box tick­ing ex­er­cise to prove they had ‘con­sulted’ the public. They didn’t -they al­ready had the only two op­tions on the ta­ble, over which there had been no con­sul­ta­tion, nei­ther of which was the Vic­to­ria.

John Pent­land, the con­stituency MSP for Mother­well and Wishaw has also protested about the loss of the GP out of hours ser­vice at Wishaw Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal. The Royal Col­lege of Emer­gency Medicine has stated that all out of hours ser­vices should be lo­cated in hos­pi­tals. I know from per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence how quickly a mi­nor ill­ness can es­ca­late into an emer­gency.

Yet Mar­garet Ferrier MP claimed that Labour were “scare­mon­ger­ing” on this is­sue and there was never an in­ten­tion to move our ser­vice away from the Vic­to­ria. The fact is it was me who first raised this is­sue in the Re­former in Jan­uary 2014. She can ac­cuse me of “scare­mon­ger­ing” if she likes but I wouldn’t ad­vise it. I am not a mem­ber of any po­lit­i­cal party but a citizen of Ruther­glen and one of her con­stituents. Why then was she stand­ing out­side Ruther­glen Pri­mary Care Cen­tre in Stonelaw Road pre-elec­tion with her sup­port­ers wav­ing plac­ards de­mand­ing that the Cen­tre be used as a lo­cal base if the Vic­to­ria was closed? In­ci­den­tally, that was my idea too, first men­tioned in the Re­former. Like­wise Coun­cil­l­lor Robert Brown claimed that if it wasn’t for him no one would have known about this is­sue. Wrong again but that’s the Lib Dems for you, claim­ing credit for ev­ery­thing.

I be­lieve that in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion an am­bu­lance is legally obliged to take a pa­tient to the near­est hos­pi­tal which can ac­cept them. I think we should all ex­er­cise our hu­man rights and de­mand to be treated at the near­est hos­pi­tal and GP out of hours ser­vice.

We must get a cast iron guar­an­tee from the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and NHS La­nark­shire that we will be able to con­tinue to use the GP out of hours ser­vice at the Vic­to­ria and all the Glas­gow hos­pi­tals. I would also like to know who has mis­man­aged GP re­cruit­ment and pro­vi­sion. I am a proud Ru­glo­nian but in this case, to quote the words of Harry Lauder “I Be­long to Glas­gow.” We are fed up of be­ing treated as a colony, a poor re­la­tion, to be taken over by a larger power with­out our con­sent.

I meet lots of older peo­ple and they are very scared and are say­ing they would not be able to go to Hamil­ton or Air­drie and wouldn’t bother to con­tact a GP out of hours. Very young chil­dren and the very el­derly can de­te­ri­o­rate rapidly. Peo­ple will die if this goes ahead. Who is go­ing to take the blame then or are they just go­ing to bat it back and forth be­tween them­selves again? Dorothy Con­nor via email In ref­er­ence to last week’s letters from op­po­nents of the Cathkin Re­lief Road, I have just walked through this so called green space and how they can call it a “park” is be­yond me.

There is even Gi­ant Hog­weed grow­ing wild and cats wait­ing to de­scend on the mice as they pass.

This well needed piece of Road, which would be less than a mile long and is by no means a Mo­tor­way, will have cross­ing points just like there is on any other road to make it safe for the chil­dren and all pedes­tri­ans alike.

As for the wildlife, for good­ness sake. Gill Gowran is con­cerned about the wild flow­ers (weeds), foxes that rake the bins, mice (ver­min), birds, but­ter­flies and bats.

Char­lie Shaw has it right in one, it’s about the lazy dog walk­ers.

Money is avail­able to do the job right so lets get it done

For the first time in about 45 years a fit­ness class are us­ing a bit of grass for their ex­er­cises be­hind the Cathkin Parish Church, but weather per­mit­ting they will still be able to con­tinue out­side although they can do that any­where, the Cuningar Loop opens next Spring per­fect for fit­ness en­thu­si­asts.

This re­ally is a silly de­bate with no proper mean­ing as the only ben­e­fit is for dog walk­ers who can, as Char­lie Shaw states, dis­pose of their ex­cre­ment.

Chil­dren don’t play there as the grass is too long any­way they play their com­put­ers in­stead.

They can say what they like about in­suf­fi­cient traf­fic to war­rant a lol­lipop per­son, but first thing in the morn­ing and teatime traf­fic is a night­mare, north and south bound.

So lets get this road un­der way to stream­line the traf­fic and make Blair­beth, Fern­hill and Cathkin safer places. Ron­nie Cot­ter­ill via email Go­ing on hol­i­days makes me happy! We’ve al­ready been to Por­tAven­tura this year and we’re go­ing back again in Oc­to­ber. Peter Evans (65), Burn­side.

Cathk­inReliefRoad­will makear­easafer

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