No Change Until New Health Facilities In Place

Health Minister Provides Assurance over A&E


Cathy Jamieson MSP, Sandra Osborne MP and a delegation of community representatives from Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley have received an assurance from the Health Minister that all of the proposed community casualty facilities across Ayrshire will be established, the provision of local paramedic services will be developed and transport issues for residents in the Doon Valley and Carrick will be addressed before any changes take place to the A&E facilities at Ayr Hospital.


The Health Minister made it clear that he has not yet considered all of the reports before making a decision. 


The meeting which took place last week in the Scottish Parliament was attended by Elaine Dinwoodie, Councillor for Patna and Dalrymple, Elaine Stewart, Councillor for Dalmellington, William Salmond, Chair of Cumnock Community Council, David Kiltie and Peter Mason of Maybole Community Council, and Alec Clark and Jean Irvine of Girvan Community Council.


Following the meeting, Cathy Jamieson MSP said:


“People have made it clear to me that they are not against changes will bring improvements to health services.  The meeting allowed my constituents to make clear particular issues which are of concern to residents in the Doon Valley, Carrick and outlying rural communities such as Muirkirk in East Ayrshire.


Andy Kerr gave us an absolute assurance that no steps would be taken to change  facilities at the A&E at Ayr Hospital until the proposed Community Casualty facilities across Ayrshire are up and running.  He also said that the necessary investment in paramedic and ambulance services would need to be in place and the transport concerns facing residents in Carrick and the Doon Valley would have to be resolved.


The Minister also made it clear that the services which would be provided by the proposed Community Casualty facilities will be defined by local need and would not be limited to a 9 to 5 service.”



Sandra Osborne MP said:


“I am grateful Cathy Jamieson organised this meeting as it gave us the chance to put forward the views of local people at the highest level.  Andy Kerr was left in no doubt about the strength of local opinion. 


The Health Minister also recognised the importance of good access to health facilities in a rural area.”


Councillor Elaine Dinwoodie said:


“Transport is a major issue for people in the Doon Valley.  To reach Crosshouse Hospital using public transport can take over 3 hours and be prohibitively expensive.  This isn’t acceptable and it is an issue which the Health Board haven’t properly addressed.  


The Health Minister stated during the meeting that access to services would be one of the factors he considers before making his decision and I hope he will give due attention to the transport problems, and distance that would need to be travelled in an emergency situation, by residents of the Doon Valley.”


Councillor Elaine Stewart said:


“Health services should be organised in the interests of patients.  I wanted the Minister to know that my constituents feel the consultation process undertaken by NHS Ayrshire and Arran was flawed and caused only anxiety and distress to the public.


Assurances were given that patients from the Doon Valley with minor injuries or illnesses would still be treated at Ayr Hospital.  The Minister’s assurance that nothing should change before the new facilities are in place is welcomed and I hope that he has listened to all of the concerns expressed at the meeting.”




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For further information please contact Paul Kilby on 0771 332 9758.