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Over 2500 Signatures On Petition
Over 2500 residents in Rutherglen and Cambuslang have signed a petition calling on NHS Lanarkshire to scrap proposed changes to out-of-hours GP services.
The petition was organised by Labour’s candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Tom Greatrex.
Mr Greatrex handed the document into NHS Lanarkshire offices in Bothwell.
It followed a second public meeting on the issue, which saw Rutherglen Town Hall packed out.
A consultation document from NHS Lanarkshire has proposed to move all out-of-hours GP services for people in Rutherglen from the Victoria to Hamilton.
Issues raised at the meeting in Rutherglen Town Hall included a lack of initial consultation to the difficulties of getting to Hamilton in an emergency.
Mr Greatrex has been backed by local GP, Dr Richard Watson, who addressed the 250-strong audience.
After handing in the petition, Mr Greatrex said: ““There is no doubt that residents of Rutherglen and Cambuslang have concerns at the proposed changes set out in black and white in the consultation document, and any plans that would see our out of hours services move from the Victoria to a health centre in Hamilton.
I want to make sure the health board bosses, who will decide what happens, knows how strongly people feel that services for Rutherglen and Cambuslang must be local to them.”
Local MSP, James Kelly, also backed the petition, saying: “It is critical that local people’s concerns are addressed. There is genuine worry in the local community about the impact the proposed changes could have.”
NHS Lanarkshire have already agreed to delay making their final decision until after the Scottish Government complete a national review.
Craig Cunningham, Head South Lanarkshire Community Health Partnership, said: “We welcome the petition from the people of Rutherglen and Cambuslang and are grateful to those who have taken the time to let us know their views on out-of-hours services.
“All feedback we have received will be taken into account as part of the consultation process.
“We would like to reassure people that we do not at this stage have plans to change the out-of-hours service for Rutherglen and Cambuslang and they are not directly affected by the current proposals at this time. We will await the outcome of the ongoing national review of out-of-hours services before reviewing what, if any, changes would be required for this area.”