Have your say on NHS

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Niki Ten­nant

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang res­i­dents are be­ing urged to have their say as a re­view of out- of- hours GP ser­vices reaches its con­clu­sion.

The is­sue has proved con­tro­ver­sial, with lo­cal SNP and Labour politi­cians clash­ing in the past. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment ’s na­tional re­view is set to con­clude this au­tumn.

Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang res­i­dents are be­ing urged to have their say on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Re­view of Pri­mary Care Out-of-Hours Ser­vices.

Ruther­glen MP Mar­garet Ferrier and the SNP’s Holy­rood can­di­date Clare Haughey, a healthcare pro­fes­sional who will be con­test­ing the Ruther­glen seat for the SNP at next year’s Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tions, are urg­ing lo­cal peo­ple to make sure their voices are heard on the is­sue.

The re­view is be­ing led by Pro­fes­sor Sir Lewis Richie OBE, and he is keen to hear the views of all those with an in­ter­est in how Out-of-Hours ser­vices are de­liv­ered.

Com­ment­ing, Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West MP Mar­garet Ferrier claims there has been some mis­in­for­ma­tion and scare­mon­ger­ing about ser­vices po­ten­tially be­ing re­moved.

She said: “Both my­self, and Bob Doris MSP, sought as­sur­ances from NHS La­nark­shire that Out-of-Hours ser­vice pro­vi­sion would re­main at the New Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal. The re­sponse given in­di­cated that the board had no plans to change ser­vices for Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang res­i­dents, and that they would await the out­come of this re­view to de­cide what, if any, changes should be made.

“I have long cham­pi­oned for Out- of- Hours to be­come even more lo­cal. We have a won­der­ful fa­cil­ity at the Ruther­glen Pri­mary Care Cen­tre on Stonelaw Road, which has re­cently seen the com­ple­tion of a half a mil­lion pounds up­grade. I will be rec­om­mend­ing that con­sid­er­a­tion be given to util­is­ing the cen­tre for Out-ofHours pro­vi­sion. Should this not be fea­si­ble, I will be mak­ing it clear that the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang ar­eas must con­tinue to be ser­viced by the New Vic­to­ria.”

But James Kelly, Labour MSP for Ruther­glen, said the is­sue had not been re­solved: “Lo­cal peo­ple are telling me that they con­tinue to be con­cerned about the threat to lo­cal Out-of-Hours pro­vi­sion. There is good rea­son for this as NHS La­nark­shire have made it clear to me that if the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment re­view re­sults in a change of pol­icy and a move from the cur­rent base at the Vic­to­ria , they will im­ple­ment this change with­out con­sul­ta­tion. It is lit­tle won­der then that peo­ple are anx­ious.

“I also raised in par­lia­ment last week the worry that lo­cal GPs are so stretched that they are not able to pro­vide sup­port to Outof-Hours care.

“The SNP gov­ern­ment need to make clear that their cur­rent Out- of- Hours re­view will not af­fect the present ar­range­ments whereby lo­cal pa­tients travel to the Vic­to­ria.”

Health Sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son con­firmed the re­view is on sched­ule and Sir Lewis Ritchie will re­port his find­ings and fi­nal rec­om­men­da­tions in the au­tumn. She said: “Sir Lewis Ritchie has taken an in­clu­sive ap­proach in his lead­er­ship of the Na­tional Re­view in­clud­ing the com­ple­tion of a Na­tional En­gage­ment Pro­gramme. This pro­vided the op­por­tu­nity for a di­verse range of pro­fes­sion­als as well as public and po­lit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all health board ar­eas, and spe­cial health boards, to of­fer their views to Sir Lewis in his for­mu­la­tion of his re­port.”

Cur­rent base The New Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal and Mar­garet Ferrier MSP (be­low)

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