Local MSP Jackie Baillie has highlighted new figures on cancelled operations which show that the Vale of Leven Hospital is performing better than the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.
Official NHS figures released this week that no operations were cancelled at the Vale of Leven Hospital in January 2016 due to a lack of resources. This compares to 31 cancelled operations in the same month at the RAH in Paisley where staff are struggling to cope with the demand.
At the moment only 30% of all elective procedures for patients in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond are carried out at the Vale of Leven Hospital. Jackie said that increasing the number of operations undertaken at the Alexandria site would help free up capacity elsewhere and provide a better service for local patients.
However the Dumbarton MSP warned that the decision to close ward 6 this month represents a missed opportunity for increasing the provision of local health care services.
“Local patients already know that the Vale of Leven Hospital is a fantastic facility and that the staff who work there are second to none. But these new figures show that health board officials and the SNP Health Secretary were wrong to close ward 6. This ward could have been used to repatriate services from the RAH and carry out more elective procedures at the Vale.
“It makes no sense to send 70% of local patients to the RAH and other hospitals which are struggling with a lack of resources when we have the Vale on our doorstep. With one operation cancelled every day at the RAH for avoidable reasons, bringing more services to the Vale would be welcomed not only by local people but also staff and patients across the west of Scotland.
“The closure of ward 6 was a short-sighted response by the health board to help save some of the £69 million it needs to cut this year. This is a real missed opportunity for safeguarding jobs and services at the Vale and the SNP Health Secretary should have never agreed to the health board’s plan