Bosses praise health staff

HEALTH bosses have praised the work of NHS Lanarkshire staff over the past year, while also highlighting the service improvements made in 2011.

Chief executive Tim Davison said: “The key to improving the level of healthcare we provide, and the health of the Lanarkshire community, is the dedication of our staff.

“I’d like to them all for the compassionate care they provide our patients every day. Through their skills, dedication and commitment we can ensure we’re continuing to provide our community with the best possible care.”

Chairman Ken Corsar added: “The dedication, professionalism and hard work of our staff and volunteers are crucial to the health board’s aims of improving the health outcomes for the people of Lanarkshire.

“Throughout the year I have met with a wide range of staff and have consistently been impressed by their commitment, diligence and enthusiasm.

“Together with our partners and public, including North and South Lanarkshire Councils and the Public Partnership Forums, I look forward to continuing our efforts in improving the health of Lanarkshire’s population through 2012.”

Mr. Davison highlighted that performance and waiting time targets had consistently been met, while healthcare associated infections were also down. Financially, NHS Lanarkshire has been able to continue its £90 million capital investment programme, including the opening of the Beckford Lodge mental health facility in Hamilton. A £26.9 million health centre in Airdrie is planned to open in 2012. Parking expansions and repair work at Monklands Hospital will also continue, including repairs to the external cladding.

NHS Lanarkshire will also sustain its investment in care services for older people, helped by cash from the Scottish Government,

Tim Davison added: “The Scottish Government has given Lanarkshire £7.8 million for the Change Fund in 2011/12, with the aim of improving services for older people and their carers.

“This will involve providing more community-based services to help people stay in their own home and get home from hospital earlier.”

In response to these comments Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP representing Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, took the opportunity to commend the staff of NHS Lanarkshire on their hard work and dedicated service, but added that he wanted to see more local investment.

Mr. Hepburn said: “In the main, the quality of health service provision we receive in Scotland is outstanding.

“We are truly fortunate to have a wonderful institution such as the NHS, and I would add my thanks to all those who work day in and day out to ensure we are kept healthy and receive medical care when we need it.

“Of course, on occasion, the level of service that someone receives doesn’t meet their expectation. If that is the case then they can consider pursuing any concerns they have, and my office is always happy to assist in such cases.

“It is welcome that NHS Lanarkshire is investing in its infrastructure, but I cannot help but notice that none of this seems to be in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth. We seem to be the poor relations as far as the Health Board is concerned, and recent reductions in treatment room coverage and the removal of radiology services does nothing to dispel that notion. I hope when they come to invest in coming years, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth will directly benefit.”