Review ordered into Monklands Hospital consultation
The Scottish Government has ordered a review into the consultation process around the future location of a new Monklands Hospital.
NHS Lanarkshire is currently consulting on proposals for a new or replacement hospital, with an alternative site in Gartcosh being promoted by the health board as its top option.
But opponents want the hospital to be rebuilt on the existing site, and claim local people have been ignored in the decision making process.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman has now asked NHS Scotland to examine the concerns, adding that the review was needed to retain public confidence in the decision-making process.
Ms Freeman said: “The government continues to welcome the development of plans to replace University Hospital Monklands, which will provide modern health facilities and a range of specialist services for the benefit of patients across Lanarkshire and those living within the Monklands catchment area.
“I have, however, noted the concerns raised about NHS Lanarkshire’s consultation process to establish the future location of the hospital from local people and elected representatives of all political parties. In particular, concerns have been expressed about the quality of information and analysis undertaken by the Board, and about the robustness and accuracy of the information which informed the options appraisal process.
“I have therefore asked the director general for health and social care and chief executive of NHS Scotland to establish a review to provide me with an independent assessment of the process followed by NHS Lanarkshire, including whether it has been consistent with best practice and meaningfully informed by the views of stakeholders.”
Further details on the review - including who will lead it, its remit and timeframe - will be announced as soon as possible.
The health secretary was responding to a 20-page letter from Neil Gray MP and Alex Neil MSP calling for her to intervene.
Earlier this month, Scottish Labour MSPs forced a vote in Holyrood to ensure that a new Monklands Hospital would built in the Monklands community.
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “This is a welcome step forward, and a sign that finally the SNP government is listening to the clear concerns of local people, who want Monklands Hospital to stay in the Monklands community.
“Over 5,000 people have signed my petition calling on the SNP health minister to intervene and stop this disastrous decision from being taken by the health board. An independent review of the process is the least the government in Edinburgh can do.”
Neena Mahal, chair of NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s ongoing commitment to the replacement or refurbishment of University Hospital Monklands.
“It is important that our stakeholders have confidence in the process and the outcome.
“We therefore welcome an independent review of the process and look forward to progressing this much-needed facility for the people of Lanarkshire as soon as possible.”