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Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for Clydesdale, argued for the reestablishment of Out of Hours care in Clydesdale, in response to NHS Lanarkshire’s consultation on moving the service to Hamilton. Ms Campbell utilised her own survey of constituency opinion which showed profound concerns about both of the proposed options coming from NHS Lanarkshire. The two options in the consultation would lead to similar outcomes for people across Clydesdale, with them being required to travel to Hamilton for Out of Hours care.

Whilst the health board have undertaken to ensure that transport is arranged for those without the means of reaching the clinic, the new arrangements would leave patients facing lengthy journeys at all times of the year to reach the Out of Hours centre. Clydesdale will face the longest travel times of any of the areas in Lanarkshire under the new proposals. Ms Campbell asked the health board to look again at maintaining an Out of Hours service in Lanark, whether that is a smaller unit working in tandem with the clinic in Hamilton or a nurse-led service. She also asked that the health board looked to utilise the cottage hospitals, pharmacies and other health care providers already operating in Clydesdale to develop imaginative solutions for Clydesdale in the longer term.

Commenting, Ms Campbell said:

"It is clear from the correspondence I received that many people in Clydesdale share my concerns regarding these proposals. Whether it’s long late-night journeys with sick children to see a doctor, or an increase of people going to the A&E at Wishaw inappropriately, there is an understandable level of scepticism and concern in the community.

"Given the low level of public transport available in the hours when the Out of Hours service operates, the health board face the very real prospect of paying increasingly high transport costs to get patients to the service. Whilst I do recognise the difficulties the health board are having in getting GPs willing to do Out of Hours work, I believe they need to look again at the rural nature of communities in Clydesdale and ensure their new proposals offer a suitable service.

"Going forward, I will be feeding my submission into the national review of Out of Hours care launched by the Scottish Government, and I hope the health board revisit their proposals to ensure Clydesdale receives a sustainable and accessible service."

Surgeries

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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