CONFUSION reigns over the provision of yet more health services in Kilsyth as rumours that more changes are afoot persist.
Officials at NHS Lanarkshire say that there is currently no review of phlebotomy – or blood extraction – services, while the provision of warfarin tablets to thin blood is being looked at in an attempt to make it more convenient for the growing number of people who require it.
However, Central Scotland MSP Mark Griffin received a letter last month from Joyce Morrison, the manager of Kilsyth Medical Partnership, stating: “With regards to the phlebotomy service, we do not know exactly when the service is being centralised, only that NHS Lanarkshire has told us it will be.”
Mr Griffin said: “I am concerned by the mixed messages coming from the health board and Kilsyth Medical Partnership. The phlebotomy service is of great importance to patients in our area and they expect to receive it locally.
“If the phlebotomy service is to be removed it would be yet another NHS cut to hit our area. Just a few months ago the X-ray services were axed, the out of hours service has seen its operating times reduced, the new medical centres promised for Kilsyth and for north of the A80 have been ditched and the proposed minor injuries unit has been scrapped. It is simply not good enough.
“I have written to the health board and to the health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, seeking clarity on this issue.
“Furthermore, I have highlighted the detrimental impact this cut would have on my constituents, in particular the elderly, who could being forced to travel substantial distances to receive care that should be easily accessible in their local area.”
A spokesperson for NHS Lanarkshire said: “Due to the increasing number of patients who require warfarin we are currently reviewing the provision of anti-coagulation clinics across Lanarkshire.
“We are still looking at where these clinics will be provided and we will engage with patients who may be affected by any changes.
“Our aim is to develop flexible clinics within the community. Overall this will allow more people to be seen closer to their homes or workplaces, change over to finger-prick blood tests, rather than a standard blood test currently used in community, and to get the benefits from computer-aided decision making which has been shown to reduce the number of blood tests required”.
The spokesperson insisted that phlebotomy services are not presently under review.