A LAWYER who faced life saving brain surgery has slammed health chiefs for ignoring Inverclyde Royal to send him miles away for scans.

Graham Winters was told by doctors he had a tumour growing in a master gland, which affects hormone growth.

His consultants decided to operate to remove it, or run the risk he could go blind.

During this time he had to go on repeated 50-mile round trips to Glasgow for vital CT scans.

He has shocked to later find out there is a machine in Inverclyde, only a mile away from his front door.

Outraged Mr Winters, who lives in Gourock's Kirn Drive, said: "I have had to travel all this time to Glasgow.

"In that time I have had around 12 scans but all the while there was a CT scanner in a unit opened long ago by Dr Norman Godman MP which was there all all the time.

"I think it is a scandal.

Graham was diagnosed with a tumour in his pituitary gland and had to undergo an operation to remove it in 2012 following a series of scans to monitor the growth.

He said: "There was a danger that if it continued to grow I could go blind and it could kill me as well.

"I was told by a doctor that there was a disorder in the gland and it was having a party.

"It controls hormones and was causing all kinds of symptoms."

The solicitor had experienced a series of health problems caused by the growth in the gland, which started in his 30s.

It caused weight gain and other symptoms.

During a recent check-up his doctor decided to send him for another scan and he was told that he would have to go Glasgow again, to the Queen Elizabeth.

Graham added: "I questioned why I had to go to Glasgow at 5.30pm on a Thursday night at a cost to me and the NHS when there is a CT scanner in a hospital a mile away from me.

"This is not just about me, it is about other people.

"If you don't have someone to drive you, it is a long way on public transport.

"It takes time to have a scan, it is a long way back on public transport at 10pm, you can't drive and there is no patient transport.

"My worry is that if the scanner isn't getting used then they will use it as an excuse not to replace it when the time comes."

Mr Winters was eventually offered an appointment in Inverclyde Royal after he complained but was told he would need to cancel his Glasgow appointment first.

The local lawyer has now taken up his case with local list MSP Neil Bibby, who says he plans to raise it with health ministers.

His case follows concerns raised by former Provost Robert Moran, who was struck off a list after refusing to go to Glasgow for a colonoscopy after he fell seriously ill in hospital.

He had argued that it was a procedure routinely carried out in Inverclyde Royal.

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesman said: "The new CT scanner – which was installed last year at a cost of £1.5m - is fully operational from Monday to Friday and on an on-call basis at weekends.

"We aim to offer CT scans as close to a patient’s home address as possible, but there are two reasons why a patient may be offered a scan elsewhere.

"The first is if they require a particular type of scan and the second is that an earlier slot is available at another hospital.

"We are sorry to hear Mr Winters is unhappy about where his scans have been carried out.

"We will continue to offer Mr Winters CT scans at the IRH where appropriate and see he is booked in for one in a few weeks’ time."