Protest against closure of Lanarkshire A&E Units

Saturday 6th May 2006

Prptesters battling to stop the closure of the casualty units at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride and Monklands Hospital in Airdrie are preparing for another massive demonstration against the cuts.

An estimated 2000 people attended a demonstration against the closure of Monkland's accident and emergency department. The crowd linked arms to form a chain around the hospital and were joined by constituency Member of Parliament and Defence Secretary John Reid.

The pressure group Lanarkshire Health United has now announced that it plans to demonstrate in East Kilbride on Saturday May 6th 2006 against the closure of Hairmyres Hospital when it hopes to attract as many people to that demonstration as attended the rally at Monklands.

In the vaste area of the Lanarkshire Health Trust there are only three hospitals - Hairmyres, Monklands and Wishaw - which have have A&E departments. Health chiefs want to shut one, either at Monklands or Hairmyres.

Hairmyres Hospital is located in the constituency of Andy Kerr, the Minister for Health

  • Hairmyres serves East Kilbride, the largest town in Lanarkshire, and a large surrounding area.
  • Hairmyres is a new and modern hospital
  • Removal of A&E services from Hairmyres would result in a need for people to travel significant distances to hospitals in Lanarkshire and Glasgow, none of them having easy transport connections from East Kilbride.

Linda Fabiani, MSP
"... the idea of South Lanarkshire losing its service in East Kilbride is a huge concern for residents of East Kilbride and Avondale – East Kilbride alone has a population of over 70,000 people and surely should have a service within 10 miles. The only other such settlement which doesn’t is Falkirk, and I understand that to be a temporary situation until the new hospital at Larbert is fully operational.

Carolyn Leckie, MSP
"We don't agree with the health board's rationale that one of the casualty units has to close."

Dr John Reid, MP, Secretery for Defence
"In this area, we have more social deprivation. Many people don't drive so transport to a hospital further away is an issue and this area has a 30% higher mortality rate for over-60s than the rest of the country."

Karen Whitefield, MSP
"There are more 999 call-outs from Coatbridge than in any other part of Lanarkshire. The Monklands unit has to remain open because there is the biggest need here."

  • Wishaw General hospital has escaped the axe.
    • This hospital is located in the constituency of First Minster Jack McConnell.
    • Although a new hospital, it would face added pressure from diverted patients if one of the other hospitals were to close - pressure it was not designed to handle.





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