NHS Ayrshire and Arran will seek help from a charity to help transport patients if they to move cancer treatments from Ayr to Crosshouse.

The local health board will give volunteer drivers at Ayrshire Cancer Support the opportunity to free parking at Crosshouse if they move ahead with plans to transfer cancer patients from Ayr’s Station 15.

It comes as residents were left questioning how patients will get from South Ayrshire to the Kilmarnock hospital, if Ayr is no longer dealing with chemotherapy treatments.

But ACS say they are fully equipped to take more patients across Ayrshire for vital appointments, but they will have to continue to rely on the generosity of the public.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran have revealed they will promote the volunteer service within chemotherapy units in the hospitals and ensure public transport information is available.

They say they want to reduce the burden of travel for patients, without compromising the safety of treatments.

Some clinical appointments may even take place over the phone or by video call, as they aim to bring chemotherapy services closer to home.

Professor Hazel Borland, Nurse Director said: “Working closely with Ayrshire Cancer Support, we determined that less than ten per cent of patients attending chemotherapy services travel by public transport. In order to ensure these patients are not disproportionately disadvantaged, we are committed to providing a limited number of dedicated car parking spaces for use by volunteer driver services transporting patients to chemotherapy services,”

Charity chiefs who transport many patients from Girvan and Ayr to Crosshouse say they will continue to prioritise transport for patients.

Sandra McCall, CEO of Ayrshire Cancer Support said: “We will continue to provide transport to patients regardless of which hospital that treatment takes place in. 90 per cent of our journeys are currently to the Beatson in Glasgow, and if the NHS decides to change where treatment takes place, we will do everything within our power, to ensure we can continue to deliver this service.”

“The NHS have said that if their plans go ahead, they will provide spaces for our volunteer drivers at Crosshouse hospital car park and that they will promote the fact that we can offer free patient transport.

“We do not receive any funding for this service from the NHS, and so we will need to continue to raise funds to ensure we can continue to take people to their treatment. As with all charities, we rely on the goodwill and generosity of the public to support us in what we do. Getting patients to hospital has always been our issue and it will remain our priority in the coming years.’”