A CANCER inpatient ward at Ayr hospital is set to shut as part of a chemotherapy treatment shake up.

The ward at Station 15 will be closed as part of a move to transfer cancer treatments from Ayr to Crosshouse.

The move has left one cancer patient worried after it was revealed her treatment plan would now be split between the two hospitals.

The woman claims health chiefs came to their decision using a ‘tick box’ exercise at focus groups.

The patient, who wishes to remain anonymous after battling cancer for several years - say she ‘removed’ herself from the ‘biased’ groups.

She said: “They ran focus groups, I sat on them and I put a letter of complaint in and removed myself from it because it was biased.

“I sat a meeting where we had to do a tick box exercise on whether or not you choose Crosshouse or Ayr to be the Tier 2.

“Tier 2 is to be the one major place where everything is controlled by and where everyone will go. This workshop was there to determine if that would be Crosshouse.

“They looked at all different things and you state whether it would have a positive or negative impact, they would just not put a negative next to Crosshouse unless there was a negative to Ayr and there was a couple of time when things came up when even a doctor who was there would say that’s not really a positive for Crosshouse.

“The girl who was typing everything we were saying up would say ‘it might be small, but a gain is a gain, I’ll take it.”

It comes as the local health board revealed proposals to move chemotherapy treatments for Tier 2 patients from Ayr Hospital to Crosshouse.

Tier 2 patients are those who are treated for the main tumour types, whilst Tier 1 is for more complex cases – which are all treated at the Beatson in Glasgow.

Ayr, is set to become the home of Tier 3 – which will be an outreach for nurses. But the concerned patient has told us that Tier 2 at Crosshouse will be the ‘epicentre’ for cancer care, with specialist doctors (Oncologists) being based there and fears the adjoining ward and clinics will be closed at Station 15.

Other topics raised were the close proximity of the HM Prison Kilmarnock (Bowhouse) and that rural areas across Ayrshire will be affected regardless of the decision taken.

She added: “They even spoke about the prison services and security services they even spoke about because the jail is in Kilmarnock that it’s a positive for Crosshouse.

“When we got to rural areas they decided to focus on Arran for an example, because they knew the argument for rural areas was the one that Ayr was shouting about. Then eventually they put well there’s rural areas in both.”

Health chiefs confirmed they plan to close the inpatient ward at Ayr Hospital and those patients with more “complex” cases will be transferred to Crosshouse.

Hazel Borland, Nurse Director said: “Under the current proposals there are no plans to close Station 15 day ward at University Hospital Ayr (UHA) and the majority (approximately 75 per cent) of treatments currently delivered at UHA will continue to be available there. Oncology clinics will continue to be offered at UHA.”

The local health board thanked staff, patients and stakeholders who helped shape plans.

Ms Borland added: “In NHS Ayrshire & Arran, we have worked with staff, patients and stakeholders, including the Scottish Health Council, to carefully consider what this needs to look like going forward so that we can meet the needs of our citizens in the future.

“We are grateful to the many members of staff, public and stakeholders who have previously been involved and continue to be involved in this review.”

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