SNP pledges to fight hospital ward closure

Monklands Hospital dermatology ward is due to close this summer.
Monklands Hospital dermatology ward is due to close this summer.

SNP politicians are pressing hospital bosses to reverse a decision to close a specialist ward for patients with skin problems.

NHS Lanarkshire says it’s “redesigning” its dermatology service which means patients will transfer to a general ward at Monklands this summer.

Patients have already hit out at the move, with psoriasis sufferer Alexis McGarry, from Viewpark, saying they’l be “made to feel like lepers” if they’re in a general ward.

Now Councillor David Stocks, leader of the SNP group on North Lanarkshire Council, has pledged to fight it.

Councillor Stocks, who has suffered from psoriasis, said: “It’s disgraceful to even think of putting putting patients with severe skin conditions in a general ward.

“I’m not criticising general nursing staff, but these conditions require specialist treatment and specialist nurses. If savings have to be made they should look elsewhere.”

Councillor Stocks said Airdrie and Shotts MSP Alex Neil has joined him to fight the decision.

He added: “Dermatology wards in other hospitals have already closed and the Monklands ward has patients from beyond North Lanarkshire.

“Yet NHS Lanarkshire has made this decision without consultation. I hope common sense prevails and there will be a change of mind.”