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Independent scrutiny panel invite views of public - written submissions to be received by 30th November - Public meeting Sir John Wilson Town Hall Airdrie 7.00pm Wed 21st November. Click here for details

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In November 2004, NHS Lanarkshire launched the public engagement exercise A Picture of Health to canvas ideas and develop ways to improve the local health service for the people of Lanarkshire. The exercise in itself has a great deal of merit and there is no doubt that change and development is needed to improve health outcomes locally and reduce the inequalities which exist in our communities.

In early 2005, I responded to the first phase of the consultation. NHS Lanarkshire has since launched the second phase - which went out to consultation in January 2006. Far and away the most contentious proposal included in this stage of a Picture of Health is the suggestion that one A&E department in Lanarkshire will close.

According to the Health Board's own evaluation, the Accident and Emergency Department at Monkland's Hospital has been earmarked as the preferred option for closure.

As a local person, and as the MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, I am utterly appalled by the suggestion that Monklands A&E could close. Not only is it the busiest A&E department in Lanarkshire, but is also the sixth busiest in Scotland and the most in demand out-with a major city. Furthermore, the appalling health record which Monklands has historically suffered from makes the need for emergency care in this community even greater than in other areas.


In December 2005 my MSP colleagues Karen Whitefield, Cathy Craigie and I launched a petition against the closure of Monklands A&E. We are united in our determination to fight against this closure.

The petition ran until April 28th and was distributed widely throughout Monklands. With the help of local people, the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, the use of this website and a weekly street stall which I ran in Coatbridge Main Street I was able to collect over 10,000 signatures. My colleagues and I delivered a total of 50,000 signatures to Health Board bosses on the consultation closing date on April 28th 2006.

View the petition here (Please note the petition has now closed)

I also developed a proforma letter to make it as easy as possible for constituents to feed into the Health Board’s Consultation before the closing date of 28th April 2006. The letter has space for you to add your own personal comment. Download the proforma letter (Microsoft Word format) (Please note the consultation has now closed).

If you want more information on the consultation go to:

Consultation Responses

My main responsibility as MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston is to act as a representative of my constituents and I therefore developed consultation responses to all three of NHS Lanarkshire’s documents.

Read my response to the main Picture of Health Consultation here.
Read my response to the Cross Boundary Flow Consultation here.
Read my response to the Finance and Logistics document here.

In Parliament

Given the seriousness of this issue I have found it necessary to raise the matter of Monklands Hospital in Parliament.

Read my speech on Monklands here.
Read my questioning of the Deputy Health Minister here.
Read my questioning of the Transport Minister here.

Further Information Links
NHS Lanarkshire 'A Picture of Health' website
Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser
Campaign Photographs
Sign The Petition Online
Download a blank copy of the petition

Press Releases - Elaine Smith
Local MSPs rubbish Health Board Journey Claims
Local MSP challenges Ministers on Health Board Plans
MSP slams Health Board over flawed document
‘Patient flow strategy is a shambles’ say MSPs
'Case against Monklands doesn’t add up' says MSP
Coatbridge MSP urges Minister to look beyond NHS Spin
Monklands petition going strong
Coatbridge MSP alarmed by Ambulance Findings
Save Monklands' A&E
MSP welcomes U-Turn over NHS Meeting
MSPs launch petition to save A&E

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