Stobhill campaigner vows to keep up the fight

Campaigner Tom Herbert outside Stobhill Hospital.Campaigner Tom Herbert outside Stobhill Hospital.
Campaigner Tom Herbert outside Stobhill Hospital.
Campaigners fighting to have chemotherapy services delivered at the ‘new’ Stobhill Hospital vowed this week to keep up the fight.

They want the Stobhill ACAD to provide a similar service to that delivered at the ‘new’ Victoria Infirmary on the southside of Glasgow.

Tom Herbert has been leading the campaign locally and has raised the issue with Health Secretary Alex Neil and the CEO of NHS Scotland.

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The campaign has also been taken up by the Scottish Health Campaigns Network.

Tom said: “NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde say the figures for North Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire don’t justify chemotherapy services at the new Stobhill, but I and many others dispute that.

“Figures must be challenged to resolve once and for all this dispute.

“Audit Scotland should be invited to take evidence and carry out an independent survey of cancer patients under treatment from Stobhill’s catchment areas and evaluate and compare those against the new Victoria

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“People from this area have to travel to the Beatson for their chemo and that is unacceptable when it could be delivered at Stobhill, saving them a very tiring and unnecessary long journey.

“Prior to the opening of the new Stobhill leaflets were circulated telling us what to expect in our new hospital.

“They clearly stated there was to be the treatment of cancers and blood disorders.”

He added: “One of the issues NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has raised in its annual reports in recent years is health inequalities suffered by patients. This is one inequality that could be resolved by providing chemotherapy and other infusions at Stobhill.”

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East Dunbartonshire councillors have backed the campaign to have chemo services returned to Stobhill.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “In January 2012 the council unanimously adopted a motion supporting a campaign for the provision of chemotherapy services at Stobhill Hospital.

“In correspondence with Robert Calderwood, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow, in late 2012, he indicated that the provision of a community-based model of oral chemotherapy would be considered in a Clinical Services Review.

“The finalised review is expected to include a proposal that the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre reviews the clinical feasibility of two new service models for the delivery of oral chemotherapy in the future.

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“These two service models will include an enhanced role for community pharmacies and an enhanced community cancer service, based within primary care premises or other local facilities.

“I look forward to hearing more about these proposals as the review moves forward.”

A spokepserson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Our position on providing chemotherapy at Stobhill Hospital remains unchanged.

“However, as part of the Clinical Services Review we are looking at how healthcare will be delivered in 2015 and beyond.

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“The review includes work undertaken by eight clinical working groups led by experienced clinicians working with patients and other stakeholders such as academics, charities and public health experts.

“One of the clinical working groups is looking at cancer services and in particular how we can deliver oral chemotherapy as close to the patient as possible within a variety of settings which is clinically safe. This work is ongoing.

“It is important to note that this review does not extend to establishing the feasibility of a full day chemotherapy services as has been campaigned for.”