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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Lanarkshire loses A&E department
Monklands Hospital
A campaign was launched against the casualty plans
Monklands Hospital is to lose its accident and emergency department as part of a shake-up of healthcare in Lanarkshire, it has been confirmed.

The hospital will have a 24-hour minor injuries unit but other patients will have to travel to Wishaw or Hairmyres.

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald endorsed the move as he gave the green light to NHS Lanarkshire's 300m plan to reorganise services in the area.

Residents in Airdrie had opposed the loss of the Monklands facility.

The constituencies of key political figures cover the three hospitals.

I'm satisfied there has been extensive community engagement by the NHS Lanarkshire
Lewis Macdonald
Deputy Health Minister

Home Secretary John Reid is the local MP for Airdrie.

He had said he was "extremely disappointed" at NHS Lanarkshire's plans to shut the department.

Hairmyres Hospital is in the East Kilbride constituency of Scotland's Health Minister Andy Kerr.

And Wishaw General is in the constituency of the First Minister Jack McConnell.

Monklands Hospital will focus on planned hospital care, while Wishaw and Hairmyres will continue to provide a mixture of planned and emergency care.

Modern healthcare

The deputy health minister said the executive would now invest 100m in Monklands Hospital.

He said the investment would transform Monklands into a "first-class example of modern healthcare".

"The service needs to be built more around looking after people on a continuing and preventative basis, rather than isolated episodes of acute emergency inpatient care," said Mr Macdonald.

"Having a 24-hour community casualty unit will mean Monklands can continue to provide unscheduled care to the vast majority of those who currently use the accident and emergency."

Lanarkshire Health United protestors
Protestors fought to retain all three casualty units

He added: "I'm satisfied there has been extensive community engagement by the NHS Lanarkshire."

Mr Macdonald also announced an expansion of ambulance services in Lanarkshire, which will see 43 new paramedics and ambulance technicians and a number of vehicles.

He also asked Lanarkshire health board to speed up its own 100m programme on upgrading primary care facilities, starting in Airdrie and Coatbridge.

Some 100m will also be spent on increasing capacity at Hairmyres and Wishaw hospitals.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
What the health shake-up will mean



SEE ALSO
Reid attacks A&E closure decision
29 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West
Protest vow over A&E closure plan
28 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West
Monklands to lose casualty unit
27 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West

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