MSP to write to health minister

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A Lenzie health campaigner has stepped up the pressure in his battle for a vital service for cancer patients at the ‘new’ Stobhill Hospital.

Tom Herbert met with 
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport Jenny Marra MSP at Holyrood last week.

Ms Marra, who is also Labour’s equality spokesperson, has pledged her support for Tom’s six-year fight for a chemotherapy day centre.

At the moment, local patients are forced to travel to the Beatson Centre in Glasgow for treatment.

Many say their illness, combined with the side effects of chemo, mean the journey, often by bus, is gruelling and stressful.

Ms Marra is writing to Scottish Government Health Secretary Shona Robison on behalf of campaigners.

She told the Herald: “It is clear there are issues in North Glasgow and all over Scotland with access to local services and patient transport. The creeping centralisation has left many people isolated from the health services they need and not enough has been done to help people access them.

“I will be writing to the Health Secretary Shona Robison about the situation at Stobhill and asking her to 
answers the concerns of health campaigners like Tom Herbert.”

Tom said he was hopeful of a “progressive meeting” between the two political parties over “this inequality” in health care.

The local campaigner was also at last week’s annual review of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, attended by Shona Robison, where he quizzed board members about their continued reluctance to provide the local cancer service.

On Monday, a Scottish Government spokesperson said the health board had given “an assurance” it would continue to review its decision.

She added: “It is for local NHS Boards to plan and provide safe, sustainable and high quality healthcare services.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has assured the Scottish Government it has regularly reviewed the level of demand and activity required to safely and efficiently deliver day chemotherapy at Stobhill 

“The Board has been clear the numbers have been too low to establish a safe and clinically effective service. NHSGGC has given an assurance it will continue to review service provision to ensure that the services delivered will reflect the needs of the population.”