Tom set to meet health chiefs

NHSGGC Chairman John Brown, left, meeting Tom Herbert earlier this year
NHSGGC Chairman John Brown, left, meeting Tom Herbert earlier this year

A health campaigner who has been battling for a cancer care unit at Stobhill Hospital for over a decade, is to meet with health chiefs next week.

This will be the first time 
Lenzie man Tom Herbert has put his case to Jane Grant, the recently appointed Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC).

They will be joined at the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, October 25, by the Chairperson of NHSGGC, John Brown.

Mr Herbert told the Herald he hopes Ms Grant will agree to remedy what he and fellow supporters believe is a major “inequality in patient care” for local cancer sufferers.

Campaigners want a 
chemotherapy unit at Stobhill to serve patients in East Dunbartonshire and North Glasgow.

This was promised by the NHS when the new Stobhill hospital was built – but since then health chiefs have said there are not enough patients and the unit would be “unsustainable.”

Mr Herbert has argued that the new Victoria Hospital in Glasgow has a chemo unit and its catchment area and demographic is “virtually the same”. This also applies to the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria, according to the health campaigner.

Mr Herbert told the Herald he was delighted that a meeting had at last been arranged with the new NHS chief executive..

He said: “I want to challenge the board to resolve this inequality in patient care.

“The travel time for patients to the Beatson from this area takes one hours and fifty minutes by public transport and costs £10 each way.

“This is a horrendous journey at a time when people are under enormous stress and suffering the side effects of medication.

“This simply cannot go on.

“The New Victoria Hospital in the south side of Glasgow has been offering this service for many years. The Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria has an excellent nurse-led service.

“Why are the people of East Dunbartonshire and North Glasgow being deprived?”

Supporters of Mr Herbert’s campaign include Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay and two fellow MSPs from North Glasgow, Bob Doris (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) and Ivan McKee (Glasgow Provan).

Ms Mackay described Mr Herbert as “a tireless campaigner for the cause” who she fully supported.