'Suspension' of X-ray service causes anger

PLANS to stop carrying out X-ray services in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth continue to attract criticism from various quarters.

Currently, health centres in both Cumbernauld and Kilsyth are able to carry out x-rays, but this service will be "suspended" on December 31 – a move campaigners are warning that this will be a permanent withdrawal.

The Scottish Socialist Party has publicly condemned NHS Lanarkshire's plans to send patients to Monklands Hospital for X-rays rather than have them done at health centres.

Said their election candidate William O'Neill of Kilsyth: ""Despite promises that health services will be protected it seems no area of our public services are safe from savage cuts.

"People in the area will be left with the headache of travelling, and for many the impossibility of getting to Monklands hospital for appointments."

Billy Lees of Cumbernauld Community Forum has also said that he feels deceived by the process leading up to this development.

"As I was concerned it was just one big con to keep us from taking it to the press before the general election.

The board called us to a meeting on November 24 in Strathclyde Hospital, where our health spokesman Donald Masterson put a great case forward on why this unit should be kept or replaced with a new unit.

"We were then informed us that the X-ray unit in Cumbernauld would close in the next four to five weeks because they could no longer maintain it for safety reasons which was never mentioned."

A spokesperson for NHS Lanarkshire said: "We have had community involvement right from the start of this review. It is therefore disappointing that the views expressed don't recognise this.

"The reason for the review coincided with the requirement for equipment replacement, particularly as the use of plain film x-rays has reduced over recent years.

"The review started in November 2009 with the establishment of a project group and included members from Cumbernauld area who were fully engaged in the development of the options which were then shared with community forums."