A REPORTED reprieve for cancer services at Ayr Hospital has been dismissed by health chiefs.

In a release issued on Monday, South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth hailed the reprieve for the Ayr unit, while urging health bosses to “up their game” when it comes to consulting the public on the future of cancer care in the area.

But when contacted, NHS Ayrshire and Arran said a decision on whether or not to move Ayr Hospital Chemotherapy Unit to Crosshouse had not yet been made and was still under review.

John Burns, Chief Executive, said “The Ayrshire and Arran NHS Board held its routine meeting in public on Monday, January 29.

“The board received a paper and presentation on the chemotherapy service setting out the work to date in Ayrshire and Arran as well as informing the Board of the West of Scotland review of Systemic Anti Cancer Therapy.

“The board agreed that further engagement should be taken forward in conjunction with the West of Scotland work, building on previous engagement in Ayrshire and Arran.”

Colin Smyth says: “It was clear when I questioned their Chief Executive John Burns at a recent Scottish Parliament meeting that the board were considering a change of tact on the whole issue, so I’m pleased this appears to be happening. It is also vital that the local Health Board up their game.

So far the whole issue has been very badly handled by them. I will be urging the Health Board to carry out proper engagement.”