Protests over plan to shut trauma unit

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Nursing staff and doctors at Monklands Hospital, as well as members of the public, are expected to participate in a demonstration stating their opposition to plans to close a specialist orthopedic trauma ward.

The plans are outlined in NHS Lanarkshire’s document Orthopaedic Services Review September 2015 and call for a “downgrade” at Monklands A&E with emergency patients instead going to Wishaw General Hospital.

Wishaw General Hospital is already showing signs of strain and has recorded the worst A&E waiting times in Scotland on multiple occasions. Out of hours GP services were axed last year.

The move has been condemned by Unite Scotland, which is one of the biggest trade unions representing hospital workers.

A spokeswoman for the union said: “The removal of Trauma services from Monklands Hospital would be a devastating blow to the communities of Cumbernauld, Airdrie, Coatbridge and the surrounding areas, as well as creating a crisis around recruiting and retaining A&E consultants and Nursing staff in Monklands.”

Mark Gilchrist is the chairman of Unite NHS Lanarkshire Health Branch. He said: “This decision is effectively a downgrading of A&E services for local people which will see extremely sick and vulnerable people having to be transported outwith their communities for treatment.

“Unite would wish to see this decision halted and calls for a full public consultation on any service changes.”

“Unite deplores any attempt to downgrade one of Scotland’s busiest A&Es, which serves the population of one of Scotland’s highest areas of social deprivation.”

The protest will take place outside Monklands Hospital from 6pm today. Anyone who wishes to attend will be welcome.