Save Station 15 at Ayr Hospital

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The Ayrshire Post have launched a campaign to save Station 15 at Ayr Hospital.

Health chiefs have proposed to move local cancer treatment for main tumours from Ayr to Kilmarnock under a controversial shake-up of the service. They want doctors to treat cancer patients at Crosshouse Hospital, while all that would be left of the cancer facilities at Ayr would be nurses.

We are urging our thousands of readers, community groups, politicians, church leaders, businesses and traders to unite and throw their weight behind the campaign.

We are calling on Health Secretary and local MSP Jeane Freeman, whose ward covers Ayr Hospital, to intervene and stop these proposals.

Station 15, which provides cancer treatment, is a vital part of Ayr Hospital. A local facility is needed to cope with the demand that one in two people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Moving parts of the chemotherapy services at Ayr to Crosshouse in Kilmarnock and downgrading the service at Ayr to nurses in outreach is an outrage.

It means that patients and their families living in the south of Ayr, in places like Girvan, face a 75-mile round trip to the hospital. And for those who do not drive, it could mean getting extra buses at a vital time when they need to comfort their loved ones.

The NHS should put patients first before any cost-saving exercise. And we are calling on the Scottish Government to stand up for the people and deliver investment in Ayr Hospital. Many people will see this as the first step to the eventual closure of the hospital and the community must stand together to oppose it.

We want health chiefs to start listening to the local community. Their own consultation feels simply like a tick box exercise and they have told the Post they will ignore an older petition which has appeared online. A spokesperson told us: “There is a historical petition but when you click on it you can see it is several years old and is addressed to Shona Robison, who has not been the Health Secretary since 2018.”

We therefore urge everyone to make their voices heard by signing our petition today.

Gary Fanning, Editor & Ryan Carroll, Reporter, Ayrshire Post.