Fresh call for new state-of-the-art health hub to serve Milngavie and Bearsden

Fresh calls have been made for a new state-of-the-art health hub to be built to serve the people of Milngavie and Bearsden.

Local MSP Gil Paterson

Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson and Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay say they, along with local doctors, have been highlighting the need for a new health hub – particularly with the growing and ageing local population.

At the moment, GP surgeries in the area are confined to converted house dwellings.

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A new health hub would bring them all under one roof and help provide for the whole area, especially the substantial number of elderly people – the highest amount per head of capita in the whole of the United Kingdom, according to Mr Paterson.

Rona Mackay MSP

As well as doctors’ surgeries, it is the hoped the new hub would include district nursing, health visiting, a pharmacy team, podiatry, dieticians, physiotherapy and a home care team.

Given the ongoing pandemic, Mr Paterson says it is more vital than ever to upgrade health facilities.

He says has written to Professor John Brown CBE, Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, to ask for an update on the prospect of a new health hub.

The MSP said: “I have long stated the need for a new health hub in Bearsden and Milngavie to replace the web of dwelling-based doctors’ surgeries.”

He added: “This modern standard is needed to help local medical practices expand with new and different technology as well as being able to bring in additional members of staff.

“The area is only getting more populated too, with new housing developments and an ageing population – action is simply needed to facilitate the needs of our constituents."

Rona Mackay MSP, who has jointly been working on this issue said: “The enduring model of having doctors’ surgeries in converted houses is now making expansion for GPs very difficult, and like most places around Scotland, Bearsden and Milngavie would benefit from this evolution into a modern and efficient health hub.

“This obviously comes at a great financial cost, hence why Gil Paterson MSP and I have been required to take up the matter and lobby directly with the health board officials for the area.

“And with the ongoing pandemic, we can see the true need for a new and advanced approach to healthcare across the country.

"It is time to bring Bearsden and Milngavie into the 21st century.

" GP practices have been making use of technology during the pandemic and this could be a watershed for primary health care in communities.

"We need a state-of-the-art centre to cater for the needs of everyone in Bearsden and Milngavie and I will continue to press for progress on this.”

Over the past few years, an array of new housing developments have sprung up in the area, leading to concerns being expressed by local residents – not least on the strain being placed on GP surgeries.

Many have called on East Dunbartonshire Council to halt the “over-development” of the area.

Pre-covid, local woman Beth Anderson told the Herald: “I live in Bearsden and the traffic is truly shocking. Getting in and out of the area at rush hour is a complete nightmare.

“The amount of new housing developments has been ridiculous over the past few years – we don’t need and can’t have any more.

"There will be no green space left, not to say the strain that is being put on services like GP surgeries and schools,” she said.

"It’s over-development, plain and simple.”