People power has halted the loss of a key service which could have seen the number of hospital beds for senior citizens slashed at Carrickstone Day Hospital.
In July we reported that NHS Lanarkshire intended to reduce the number of beds from 35 to 10, in a so-called review that prompted a public outcry from campaigners at Cumbernauld Community Forum.
The move was also opposed by MSP Gregg McClymont and MSP Mark Griffin.
The beds which usually accommodated elderly patients transferred from Monklands Hospital expected to go at the end of the month.
To make matters worse, the news followed the controversial removal of the town’s X ray unit just months before.
However, in a dramatic turnaround at NHS Lanarkshire, all 35 beds will be kept, 25 of which will be retained for NHS patients, as part of a contract arrangement with private company Four Seasons, who provide the facilities at the hospital.
David Hume of NHS Lanarkshire confirmed: “We have been able to agree revised contract arrangement for up to 25 beds.
“This will ensure that beds continue to be made available for local people who need them.’’
The news has been welcomed by Billy Lees, Chairman of the Cumbernauld Community Forum who believes that the beds would have been history without the campaign.
He said “It is great news for the people of Cumbernauld. It is important that there are enough beds available for people that need them.
“We have been saying this throughout the review and we are pleased that it has now been confirmed,’’ he added.
His colleague Donald Masterson who is the forum’s health spokesman said: “We are delighted at the outcome. It shows how important it is to have the public involved in the decision making process to ensure we get the right result for Cumbernauld.”
Meanwhile MP Gregg McClymont added: “I am pleased that the decision to cut the number of beds atCarrickstone Day Hospital has been reversed and I pay tribute to the community for campaigning to protect these beds.’’
His Labour colleague MSP Mark Griffin said: “Cumbernauld’s elderly population would have been abandoned had the plans gone ahead.
‘‘So I am pleased that NHS Lanarkshire has seen sense on this matter and retained this vital local service,’’ he added.