Step forward for chemo campaign

Tom Herbert campaigning for chemotherapy to be delivered at Stobhill.
Tom Herbert campaigning for chemotherapy to be delivered at Stobhill.

The campaign to have chemotherapy services for cancer patients delivered at the ‘new’ Stobhill Hospital took a step forward this week.

Lenzie man Tom Herbert, who has been heading the fight, is to meet with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chief Executive Robert Calderwood today (Wednesday) as part of a review of the situation.

Campaigners want the Stobhill ACAD to provide a similar service to that delivered at the ‘new’ Victoria Infirmary on the southside of Glasgow.

They are being backed by East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson who this week called for answers from the health board.

She said: “Local people deserve to have this vital service easily available to them.

“The Beatson Cancer Centre is an excellent, world-class facility. However, some local people would prefer to go to Stobhill for their regular chemotherapy treatment to make life a bit easier at a very difficult time.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde need to provide an answer as to why this service can be provided at the New Victoria Hospital and not at Stobhill Hospital which was supposed to have the same facilities.”

Tom told the Herald he was hopeful for a “positive outcome” from his meeting with Mr Calderwood.

He said: “I hope our discussion will bring things forward because it is simply not good enough for cancer patients.”

He added: “Jo Swinson has been supportive of her constituents who are being deprived of this service.”

A spokesperson from NHS Greater Glasgow Health Board said they wanted to review the situation in “an open and transparent way”.

She said: “Our position on providing chemotherapy at Stobhill Hospital remains unchanged.

“However, as part of the Clinical Services Review, we are looking at how healthcare will be delivered in 2015 and beyond.

“The review includes work undertaken by eight clinical working groups led by experienced clinicians working with patients and other stakeholders such as academics, charities and public health experts.

“One of the groups is looking at cancer services and in particular how we can deliver oral chemotherapy as close to the patient as possible, and clinically safe. This work is ongoing.

“It is important to note this review does not extend to establishing the feasibility of a full day chemotherapy services as has been campaigned for.

“NHSGGC Chief Executive Robert Calderwood is meeting with Mr Herbert on September 3 to discuss how we continue to review the situation in an open and transparent way.”