Cancer patient urges health chiefs to think again

Campaigner Tom Herbert outside Stobhill Hospital.
Campaigner Tom Herbert outside Stobhill Hospital.

A Lenzie woman battling breast cancer has joined the campaign to have chemotherapy services delivered at the ‘new’ Stobhill Hospital.

The 58-year-old, who has been fighting the disease for three years, says the stress of travelling up to two hours for treatment is having a further impact on her health.

She told the Herald: “If I could be seen at Stobhill, it would make such a difference. It’s just 15 minutes away.

“I have to travel to the Beatson and it is frustrating, stressful and very tiring.”

The cancer victim was first diagnosed with the disease in 2011. She was then given the devastating news in December last year that secondary tumours had been found.

She said: “It’s hard enough coping with the disease. The journey can take almost an hour each way, particularly as the traffic can be so busy.

“Once you get there, it’s often impossible to find a parking space.”

The chemotherapy patient, who does not want to be named, had to abandon her car during one trip and ended up with a parking fine.

She said: “There was no parking at all at the Beatson or at Gartnavel that day. I was so stressed I would miss my appointment and be put at the end of the queue I ended up parking illegally.

“I also know some people who have to get public transport to the Beatson, which takes them all day as they have to get a bus in to Glasgow first.”

She added: “At first, I had chemotherapy by infusion. I am now on a tablet form.

“I can get my blood checked at Stobhill, but I have to travel to the Beatson for my tablets, which seems ridiculous.

“It’s hard enough coping with the disease, but the tablets have horrible side-effects, including sickness and exhaustion. You don’t need hospital beds to be given infusions. I was given the treatment sitting in a chair, so the space needed is not that much.

“Something really needs to be done to help people.”

Campaigners, led by Lenzie man Tom Herbert, want the Stobhill ACAD to provide a similar service to that delivered at the ‘new’ Victoria Infirmary on the southside of Glasgow.

East Dunbartonshire councillors have also backed the campaign to have chemo services returned to Stobhill as have the Scottish Health Campaign Network.

Last week, a spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said their position on providing chemotherapy at Stobhill remained “unchanged.”

But she added that as part of a clinical services review at how healthcare will be delivered in 2015 and beyond, a clinical working group was looking at how oral chemotherapy could be delivered as close to the patient as possible.