Plea to put patients before cash at Stobhill

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CAMPAIGNERS are calling on health chiefs to put patient care before cost at Stobhill Hospital.

Health chiefs say it would cost around £271,000 a year to provide a service for breast, lung and colorectal cancers at Stobhill.

They have insisted that the amount is a “significant additional cost”.

However, the Stobhill campaign group has called for chemotherapy to be delivered at the new £100million ambulatory care and diagnostic centre (ACAD) at Stobhill - similar to the service provided at the Victoria Infirmary ACAD.

Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor Charles Kennedy, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, said: “Surely we have not reached the point in our country’s development that people’s health and perhaps their lives are to be determined by a sum of money so infinitesimally small.”

He added: “I refuse to believe that such a small sum of money would be sufficient to stop people having the relative ease of going to Stobhill rather than the traumatic journey to the Beatson.”

Currently patients from Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and surrounding areas have to travel to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre at Gartnavel Hospital for treatment.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that, having investigated all options, it maintains that chemotherapy will only be provided from the Beatson and Victoria Infirmary.

Campaigners have held regular meetings with health chiefs and were due to have further talks with them this week.

Lenzie man Tom Herbert, secretary of the Stobhill campaign group, said: “This is a modest cost in the overall budget of the health board.

“At their AGM last year, I raised the point that with the sale of the old Stobhill Hospital, the interest alone could go to creating a chemotherapy unit at Stobhill.”

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesperson said: “We have now concluded a thorough analysis of the potential demand and costs associated with providing a chemotherapy service at Stobhill Hospital.

“Having investigated all the options with input from our clinical oncologist colleagues the model for chemotherapy provision agreed following a full appraisal in 2002 is two day chemotherapy centres for Greater Glasgow: the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre covering North Glasgow, and the Victoria covering South Glasgow.”

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