Forums launch petition against GP plan

Three local community forums have stepped up the bid to thwart a controversial plan to take the GPs out-of-hours service out of Cumbernauld.

In recent weeks we’ve reported how local Labour MP Gregg McClymont, the area’s SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn, and Labour MSP Mark Griffin are all opposed to NHS Lanarkshire’s preferred option to centralise the service at Airdrie or Hamilton.

Also strongly opposed is the area’s SNP parliamentary candidate Stuart McDonald, who is among those to sign a petition organised by the Northern Corridor Community Forum, Kilsyth and Villages Community Forum and the Cumbernauld Community Forum.

He said: “It’s encouraging to see our communities unite behind this petition, and I’m happy to give my support.

“I’ve said from the outset that the consultation document made no sense – and it’s now even more ridiculous for the health board to carry on given the welcome national review of out-of-hours services recently announced by the Scottish Government”.

NHS Lanarkshire argues that the difficulties it is experiencing in getting sufficient GP cover for Cumbernauld means it has to devise a way of providing a workable solution.

It wants to centralise service in just one or two locations, but both Airdrie and Hamilton are reckoned unacceptable for people who in many cases would be faced with difficult and possibly late-night travel.

However the Scottish Government says any solution must be in tune with the results of its own national review of the service.