New Bid for COPD Centre for Stranraer

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Fresh calls have been made to see the creation of a specialist health facility in Stranraer to tackle the area’s worrying history of respiratory issues.

 

Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, is pressing the Scottish Government again to investigate the possibility of establishing a centre of excellence for lung health in the town.

 

The local MSP has lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament urging government ministers to reconsider a proposal to house a new unit in the area to examine the high rate of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in the south west corner.

 

His latest move comes as part of World COPD day that takes place on 17 November with this year’s theme being Healthy Lungs – Never More Important.

 

Mr Carson said: “I think it is important to keep pressing the case given the enormous work carried out by Professor John Lockhart and the BREATH Project who have already voiced their desire to see the creation of a dedicated facility.
“I have already raised this issue on a number of occasions at Holyrood over the years, given the extremely high number of people affected by respiratory conditions across Scotland, but, in particular, those living in the south west corner.
“In August the First Minister confirmed that she would give due consideration to setting up a specialist centre in the Stranraer and, subsequently, I received correspondence from the Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf last month stating that he was fully committed to working towards improvement in diagnosis, treatment and care for those affected.”

 

The Scottish Government has already announced that it intends to deliver a Respiratory Care Action Plan in light of the worrying numbers of people affected. The local MSP remains adamant that a centre of excellence in Stranraer should form a major part of this.

 

In his motion, Mr Carson praises the commitment and role played by Professor Lockhart and the BREATH project in highlighting the plight of sufferers. He recognises also the work being undertaken by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation Scotland in raising public awareness in respiratory illnesses.

 

He states: “That the Parliament recognises World COPD Day that takes place on 17 November, 2021, with this year’s theme of Healthy Lungs – Never More Important, urges the Scottish Government to further investigate the possibility of creating a centre of excellence for lung health in Stranraer to consider the reason for the high rate of COPD in the West of Scotland, diagnosis, treatment and care for those affected by respiratory conditions.”

 

It continues: “Recognises the enormous work carried out by Professor John Lockhart and the BREATH project who have voiced their desire to see a dedicated facility, calls on the Scottish Government to speed up recommendations suggested in its Respiratory Care Action Plan for Scotland given that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease remains a serious problem affecting 140,000 people across the country with an estimated 200,000 people still unaware they are possibly suffering from this illness that is believed will become the third most frequent cause of death globally before the end of this decade.”