MSP demands answers over treatment rooms

Michael McMahon
Michael McMahon

Uddingston and Bellshill MSP Michael McMahon is demanding to know if Health Minister Alex Neil approves of centralised treatment rooms for GP surgeries.

NHS Lanarkshire opened a suite for patients of four Hamilton surgeries, Portland Park, Wellhall, Cadzow and Low Waters, in Douglas Street earlier this year to receive the likes of blood tests and wound treatment.

The facility has been praised, but patients have complained it’s difficult to get to and Mr McMahon is concerned that should Hamilton be seen as successful then such a scheme may be rolled out to other areas.

He said: “The centralisation of treatment at the Douglas Street centre has created more problems than it has benefits for patients.

“If such a model has the Scottish Government’s support, does he also support the rolling out of that model across the rest of Lanarkshire?”

Mr Neil claims it is a matter for NHS Lanarkshire, and not one for him to get involved in.

He said: “Statutory responsibility for service provision rests with national health service boards, so the issue is primarily an operational matter for NHS Lanarkshire.

“The aim of NHS Lanarkshire’s review of treatment rooms is to provide a high-quality, standardised and equitable service for all its patients—an aim that the Scottish Government supports.”

However, this led Mr McMahon to accuse Mr Neil of hypocrisy

He said: “The Minister intervened to ensure that NHS Lanarkshire reversed its plans on mental health services so why will the cabinet secretary not intervene now rather than claim that he has no power to intervene in relation to treatment centres?”

For their part NHS Lanarkshire say they have no intention of rolling out this kind of scheme in other areas.