The SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison has finally admitted that she used incorrect figures in response to a question from local MSP Jackie Baillie on the recent closure of the blood pressure clinic at the Vale of Leven Hospital.
In response to a question tabled at Holyrood the SNP minister blamed the removal of the clinic on a fall in the patient numbers and told MSPs that only 2 patients per week used the service. However official NHS statistics obtained by Jackie Baillie under Freedom of Information exposed the fact that the SNP deliberately downplayed the figures by giving a weekly average attendance for a clinic that was run monthly. The real figures show that at least 15 local patients were using the Vale service at the time of its removal in November 2015.
Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie accused the SNP of talking down the Vale service to justify its closure and asked the Health Secretary to correct her statement to parliament. The SNP minister has now written to Jackie Baillie to concede that the figures were incorrect but she was silent on the health board’s decision to axe the clinic at the Vale of Leven Hospital.
“The SNP has finally been forced to admit that it fiddled the figures to justify the closure of the blood clinic at the Vale of Leven Hospital. The fact is that the blood pressure service was a monthly clinic that served more than 15 local patients when it was closed by the health board with little notice in November 2015. I had to use Freedom of Information to get the true attendance figures from the health board when the SNP’s claim that only 2 patients used the clinic per week raised eyebrows among a number of patients I know who regularly used the service.
“After being in government for nine years, and with a majority in parliament, the SNP should have been fighting to save this clinic -; not hiding behind the health board and using dodgy figures to justify yet another service closure at the Vale of Leven Hospital