UNHAPPY councillors are demanding answers over the future of an award winning hospital unit in Greenock.

The Tele recently revealed that the physical disability rehabilitation unit, based in the Larkfield Unit, is to be merged with the stroke ward.

Health bosses say it is a temporary measure for three months due to a shortage of doctors.

But councillors on the health and social care committee raised concerns about the move and its long-term implications during a Municipal Buildings meeting.

Health services campaigner Ciano Rebecchi believes this situation could have been avoided.

He told the public meeting: "This has not come out the blue because they knew someone was retiring.

"They should have made arrangements for someone to come down here and keep that unit going."

Cllr Rebecchi asked for a report into the timescales and consultation processes for the changes and implications for consultant-led services, staff and service users.

He added: "They are not telling us anything.

"They need to come clean and tell us what their plans are and then we can discuss it.

"But we don't get the chance to discuss it, that's the annoying thing."

Louise Long, the corporate director of health and social care committee, said had spoken to Jonathan Best, the chief operating officer for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, who gave her reassurances that the unit is not closing.

She said: "The unit is not closing so there's no need for a consultation.

"It's been moved and they are in the process of recruiting a consultant."

She also stated that it was not 'appropriate' for the committee to request a report into the matter, but councillors disagreed.

Council leader Stephen McCabe said: "I think the request is perfectly legitimate.

"We should support the request."

Councillor Colin Jackson added: "I think it is pretty straightforward to ask about the timescales of the consultation process.

"In previous times, the public has felt excluded from consultations as they have been held when people are working and feel they have not been included.

"We request information on the consultation process."

A report will now be prepared for the committee by officials outlining the plans for the unit.