COUNCILLORS and elderly residents say they’ll fight “horrendous” plans not to provide X-ray facilities at the new Clydebank Health and Care Centre.

The service, used by many local people at the current health centre on Kilbowie Road, has not been included in the planning application for the Queens Quay site.

It means people would face travelling to either Gartnavel General Hospital or the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for an X-ray. 

The decision – initially made West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership project board in November 2016 to “secure the best use of taxpayers’ money” – was described by Councillor Gail Casey as a “backwards step” at a planning meeting last week.

And elderly users of the facility have said losing it would be a “blow” that will “drastically affect people” in the area. 

Mary McAleer, 83, from Parkhall, uses the X-ray service at the health centre and she said: “It would be absolutely horrendous. [I’d have to take] two buses to Gartnavel. 

“You just say to yourself ‘what is going to happen now?’ It will drastically affect people in this area. You would depend on someone taking you or getting a taxi, which is very expensive.

“All I have got to do at the health centre is go upstairs. You need an X-ray machine where your patients are. We are really actually quite depressed at things that are happening in Clydebank at the moment.”

Meanwhile, Rhona Young, 88, from Old Kilpatrick, added: “If the service is not available locally for elderly people like ourselves it becomes very difficult. 

“I have to take public transport from the village here, which involves two buses, to go to Gartnavel.

“As you get older and more infirm it becomes more difficult. It would affect us very badly. We think very strongly about it. This is just the final blow.”

The issue was discussed at the elected members’ meeting after a presentation by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s senior project manager Ian Docherty and the project’s principal architect Jonathan McQuillan.

Speaking about the new centre, Mr Docherty said: “The idea is that we no longer have people going to hospital for facilities they can get locally.”

However, Bailie Denis Agnew said losing the facility was “one of the core elements” that should have been discussed.

He said: “The bottom line here is we have no direct transport links. So, you are taking a facility we already have.”

“What we are doing is probably going to increase the activity of people who normally go for small X-rays. I think if we are taking something away, I think we should say ‘this is how you access this elsewhere’.

“It cuts across the idea that we don’t want people travelling elsewhere.”

Councillor Marie McNair, the convener of the health and social care partnership, told the Post she will discuss the issue with the health board.

She said: “I think others are right to be concerned about the removal of this service to Clydebank constituents. I will be raising this with NHS officials and will ensure that this matter is re-examined.”

A spokesperson for West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “A wide range of ‎services appropriate to patients will be provided from the new state-of-the-art health and care centre.

“These services will include specialist children’s services, speech and language therapy, mental health support, district nursing, physiotherapy, pharmacy, care at home and many more.

“The Clydebank Health and Care Centre project board, after careful consideration, decided in November 2016 that in order to secure the best use of taxpayers’ money and optimise space in the new centre, patients would benefit from the higher quality imaging services already available at Gartnavel General Hospital.”

The planning application for the new health centre is set to be officially lodged in the first week of March.