Health centre chosen

CLARKSTON will be the home of Eastwood’s new health and care centre, the NHS announced yesterday.

Funded to the tune of £9 million by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and £8 million from East Renfrewshire council, the new facility — an equivalent of the Barrhead centre — will be built on the old Isobel Mair site.

Julie Murray, director of East Renfrewshire Community Health and Care Partnership said: “NHS Great Glasgow and Clyde and ERC have approved the old school site as the preferred location for the new single site health and care centre. The development of a business case is the next step.

“Both NHS GGC and ERC will continue to work closely on this project”.

Council leader Jim Fletcher described the site as “clearly the best option”.

He told The Extra: “More GPs in Clarkston are willing to relocate so more people will use this building while being based at an old school means good access and no planning problems.

“Newton Mearns was not a viable option as we are only able to build one centre as per our agreement with NHS GGC. The sites available were not central enough and there was not the same interest from GPs to relocate.

“However, we as a council will have to improve transport links on Eastwoodmains Road. We are also having ongoing discussions with GPs to improve health care in Newton Mearns.

“We have to go with the best location. It’s a professional decision, not a political one”.

Vincent Waters, SNP candidate for Giffnock and Thornliebank, supported the decision.

He told The Extra: “The preferred site is the most centrally placed. It’s also got the potential for decent car parking, and nine out of ten people who use the Clarkston clinic travel by car.

“To create a centre with the facilities Eastwood people need, especially a Sandyford women’s health clinic, this is the best location”.

However, Clarkston councillor Stewart Miller is unimpressed: “It will probably be easier for elderly people from Busby and Eaglesham to jump on a bus and go to the new Victoria Hospital than to the new facility.

“The bulk of this facility will be devoted to social work. Why on earth do we need to spend piles of money building new offices when the ones we have are adequate?

“This proposal suits neither most of Clarkston, Busby or Eaglesham and none of Newton Mearns.

“Why could the administration not have proposed functional health provision for both Clarkston and NM at a fraction of the cost and used some of the money to repair our crumbling road network?”.