A GP from Denny who aims to take concerns about future funding for Strathcarron Hospice to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is today set to achieve her petition target of 25,000 names.
Strathcarron Hospice management has stressed there is no immediate threat to the cherished local institution, but has made it clear there are serious concerns about the likely level of commitment from NHS Lanarkshire after 2020.
Last month it disclosed plans to slash its cash grant to Strathcarron for services to Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, but put the plan on ice after objections - however there are no guarantees it will provide any funds after 2020.
Dr Emma McPherson, a GP in Cumbernauld who has lived in Denny all her life, said she had watched various NHS cuts taking place without getting involved, but cannot ignore what she sees as a threat to Strathcarron.
Earlier this week Strathcarron officials said: “NHS Lanarkshire has given us an assurance that they will not cut our funding in the current financial year.
“They have argued that they are unable to commit to funding beyond one year without competitive tendering.”
The statement said this was in direct contrast to other areas where hospices and health boards work in partnership to provide specialist palliative care- for example Strathcarron has a three-year agreement with NHS Forth Valley.
“Our service to NHS Lanarkshire costs £1.85 million and if they contributed 50 per cent, they should give us £942,000 but currently pay £569,000. This is unsustainable,” warned the hospice team.
NHS Lanarkshire says it wants to provide palliative and end of life care in people’s homes, which is said to reflect the preferences of local people, but Strathcarron has pointed out it provides a wider range of services at home than any other hospice.
Dr McPherson’s petition is at