Fresh blow for chemo campaign

Stobhill campaigner Tom Herbert has vowed to keep fighting
Stobhill campaigner Tom Herbert has vowed to keep fighting

Scots health secretary Alex Neil has dismissed a plea in parliament backing the campaign for chemotherapy

services at Stobhill.

Mr Neil said NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde currently believes the provision of the service would be “unsafe and unsustainable”.

He added the health board had committed to keeping the position “under review”.

LibDem leader in Scotland, Willie Rennie and the party’s health spokesman Jim Hume MSP had tabled questions 
at the Scottish Parliament in support of Lenzie man Tom Herbert’s case for 
cancer patients. Mr Hume had asked the Scottish Government to give its position on the restoration of an outreach chemo service at Stobhill.

In a written response, Mr Neil said: “It is for health boards to plan and prioritise the delivery of healthcare services based on the needs of local people. Patient safety is of paramount concern. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has kept the provision of local chemotherapy services under review to ensure they are of the highest quality.

“This has included specific consideration of the provision of outpatient chemotherapy services at Stobhill Hospital. Such services have not been provided at Stobhill for over a decade. The health board believes the provision of this service would be unsafe and unsustainable, but have committed to keeping the position under review.

Mr Hume said: “Whilst the Health Secretary’s response underlines the health board’s position, it is nonetheless very encouraging that local campaigner Tom Herbert is receiving good public support.

“The health board says it’s keeping the matter under review and I hope this provides a path for open dialogue on the way forward between campaigners and NHS officials.”

But Tom said: “I am bitterly disappointed the LibDems have not taken this forward. We are getting the same reply we have been given for months from the health board. But the fight goes on.”