MSP urges caution on plans for out of hours service

Central Health Centre.
Central Health Centre.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth people needing urgent “out of hours” GP treatment could have to travel to Airdrie or Hamilton in future.

The area’s SNP politicians have attacked NHS proposals they claim would put local people at a serious advantage – because the town facility that was closed down in June last year would be permanently lost.

Plans being considered could see Out of Hours GP services either retained at both Airdrie Community Health Centre and the Douglas Street Community Health Clinic in Hamilton, or only at the clinic in Hamilton.

MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “I am deeply concerned by these proposals which would see vital out of hours services cut permanently and centralised away from the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area.”

He added: “The current situation is far from ideal and there was no indication given (last summer) that the removal of out of hours services from Cumbernauld was to be a permanent move.”

The area’s SNP parliamentary candidate, Stuart McDonald, argues the public consultation on the issue is “flawed”.

He says the NHS paper on the issue confirms a three-centre out of hours service would be viable.

“There is no adequate explanation as to why Cumbernauld is being excluded,” he said.

NHS Lanarkshire is consulting on changes which are said to be driven by the difficulty of finding sufficient GPs to run a reliable service.