X-ray campaign’s taken to Holyrood

Health minister Nicola Sturgeon
Health minister Nicola Sturgeon

THE FIGHT to have Cumbernauld’s X-ray service reinstated was taken to the very heart of Holyrood this week.

The town’s campaigning Community Forum secured a top-flight private meeting with Health Minister - and deputy First Minister - Nicola Sturgeon.

And a delegation from the forum presented her with nearly 3000 letters demanding that the closure of the radiology unit be reversed.

Forum chairman Billy Lees said: “This isn’t a petition we’re handing over, it’s nearly 3000 letters which are propery signed and addressed. Nicola Sturgeon is now the only person that can reverse NHS Lanarkshire’s decision.”

The closure of the unit means that people called for X-rays must travel to Monklands Hospital in Airdrie - a potentially tricky journey via public transport

Mr Lees said: “I know that many elderly people who are told to go for, say, a chest X-ray just don’t go because they find it too difficult.

“But that could well result in a potentially fatal condition not being picked up.

“We were also told that people’s results would be given to them right away - but that’s not happening either.

“Results are sent to people’s GPs, which can take one or two weeks, so the system isn’t any more efficient.”

He added: “They also told us our radiology equipment was out of date. But equipment older than ours is being used in Coatbridge – next door to Monklands!

“Something has to be done. This town’s getting bigger every year, but we’ve suffered with the decision to keep the accident and emergency unit at Monklands open meaning the one that was earmarked for here didn’t go ahead. We’ll be making the case to the health minister that we think Cumbernauld has suffered enough.”

Mr Lees said that while the campaign was non-political, the forum was grateful to MSP Jamie Hepburn for helping secure a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon.

For more on this story see your News and Chronicle on Wednesday.

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