Courageous councillor battles cancer and health chiefs

Charles Kennedy
Charles Kennedy

A DETERMINED councillor currently going through chemotherapy has joined calls for the crucial cancer treatment to be provided at Stobhill Hospital.

Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor Charles Kennedy regularly travels to Glasgow’s Beatson Clinic to receive chemotherapy after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Councillor Kennedy, a leading member of the Save Stobhill campaign, has called for a meeting with Cabinet Secretary of Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon to discuss providing the essential service.

Councillor Kennedy said: “Residents north of the Clyde, particularly from East Dunbartonshire, Kilsyth and Cumbernauld, find the journey to the Beatson daunting and at times distressing.

“Traffic congestion and lack of parking are major concerns and travelling by public transport takes two hours from this area.

“As someone who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and who is currently undergoing treatment at the Beatson, I can personally attest to these concerns.”

He added: “It has been highlighted to me that chemotherapy treatment is available at the new ACAD facility at the Victoria Infirmary and as a consequence it is difficult to understand why similar facilities are currently unavailable at Stobhill.”

As well as writing to Ms Sturgeon he has also contacted local MSPs Jamie Hepburn, Gil Paterson and Fiona McLeod, as well as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) chief executive Robert Calderwood, asking for their support. The campaign calling for chemotherapy services to be provided at the new £100million ambulatory care and diagnostic centre (ACAD) at Stobhill was started around two years ago.

Councillor Kennedy will also table at motion calling for East Dunbartonshire Council to back the campaign.

NHSGGC is carrying out a review of chemotherapy activity to determine what potential there is for delivering the service at the new Stobhill.

Lenzie man Tom Herbert, secretary of the Stobhill campaign group, has been spearheading a campaign to get chemo services delivered at Stobhill and has been involved in several meetings with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health officials.

He said: “I fully support Councillor Kennedy’s stance and I’m sorry to learn of his need of chemo and his experiences.

“I would encourage others who find themselves in a similar situation to write to Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon and also to Andrew Robertson, chairman of GGCHB at Gartnaval Hospital, expressing their views as to why Stobhill is excluded and the new Victoria provides what we seek.”