NHS consultation comes under further fire

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland, Shadow Health Secretary Jenny Marra, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy at Wishaw General
Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland, Shadow Health Secretary Jenny Marra, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy at Wishaw General

Scottish Labour’s top brass has backed Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland’s call for NHS Lanarkshire’s consultation on out of hours primary care to be halted until the Scottish Government conduct their own national review.

Shadow Health Secretary Jenny Marra MSP joined Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, Mr Pentland and Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy on a visit to Wishaw General Hospital.

NHS Lanarkshire are considering ending the out of hours GP service based at Wishaw General’s A&E department.

The health board is consulting on one primary care out-of-hours centre clinic in Hamilton; or two primary care out-of-hours centres, one of which would be in Airdrie Community Health Centre and Hamilton.

That means only two centres serving the whole of Lanarkshire.

However, the consultation comes at a time when the SNP Government are conducting their own consultation on out of hours primary care. Scottish Labour have said patients in Lanarkshire must not be left behind.

The party have also backed calls from Mr Pentland and Mr Roy for a full review of the health board, to identify pressure points and to deliver better care for patients and support for staff.

Ms Marra said: “One of the reasons for the current A&E crisis facing Scotland is the shortage of adequate out of hours primary care.

“The NHS Lanarkshire consultation reduces choice and access for people which will only increase the strain on Lanarkshire A&E wards.

“That this is happening whilst the SNP Government in Edinburgh review out of hours care themselves suggest that Shona Robison is not working in sync with health boards - patients in Lanarkshire deserve much better than that.

“At a time when NHS Lanarkshire is clearly overstretched it makes no sense for the health board to be considering changes which might then be overruled by a national review.

“The SNP Government needs to get a grip on this, before further pressure builds up on our NHS.”