It’s been confirmed that Cumbernauld could be a location for one of the so-called national elective and diagnostic treatment centres that are being established by 2025 to carry out more planned operations.
The pledge – made by Nicola Sturgeon herself – is all the more sizeable given the fact that the new site of Monklands Hospital at Wester Moffat was the one farthest from the town.
That choice prompted an outcry in the town last year – amidst claims from influential groups like Cumbernauld Community Forum that the biggest town in North Lanarkshire would have been better served by the one proposed in Gartcosh.
There has even been some suggestion that locals intend to ‘boycott’ the new hospital as they do not believe due process was followed in the selection process – which NHS Lanarkshire denies.
In a speech on the NHS last week Ms Sturgeon outlined plans to raise NHS inpatient, day case and outpatient activity to 10% above the pre-pandemic level. She also unveiled measures to support NHS staff, to invest more in ensuring people get the right support closer to home, and to maximise hospital capacity so patients can be treated more quickly.
Commenting on the pledge, SNP candidate for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, Jamie Hepburn, said: “This announcement will be welcome news for the people of the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area and indeed, further afield.
“In light of the backlog created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the SNP’s commitment to a new elective treatment centre, which will be dedicated to delivering planned care only, will allow patients across Cumbernauld and Kilsyth to be treated more quickly. It will significantly increase NHS capacity for the benefit of patients here but crucially, it will also reduce the chance of last minute delays because treatment will not have to be paused for emergencies.
“Only giving both votes to the SNP will allow us to invest in our health service to ensure it remains fit for purpose now and for future generations.”