Jackie Baillie has called on the SNP to come clean about their plans for the Vale of Leven hospital after Scottish Government officials blocked the release of emails, minutes and official papers relating to planned cuts to services at the hospital.
Jackie asked the SNP Government to be transparent with local people and staff and publish all the documents it has relating to cuts at the Vale of Leven hospital. Emergency care and maternity services are under-threat according to a leaked health board paper which indicated that work is already underway on plans to transfer the services to the RAH in Paisley.
Jackie submitted a Freedom of Information request over a month ago but the SNP Government has failed to respond within the 20 day statutory time limit and has not provided a timescale for doing so.
Scottish Government officials have also heavily censored their response to other requests for information from Jackie Baillie after it ruled that SNP ministers should have the right to discuss the future of our local health services in private. Under Freedom of Information laws public bodies have the right to withhold information if it believes that it protects the ‘free and frank exchange of views’. However the SNP Government has used this excuse to block the publication of official documents on the Vale of Leven hospital a total of 38 times in response to just one of Jackie’s questions.
“Members of the public and staff at the Vale of Leven Hospital have the right to know what will happen to our local health services and the SNP should come clean on the cuts that are being planned for after the election. If the SNP are serious about their commitment to the Vale of Leven Hospital then they should have nothing to hide. If it continues to block the publication of these documents then local people will come to the conclusion that SNP ministers are saying one thing in private and another in public. They must lift the veil of secrecy on the cuts and give a cast-iron guarantee that all current services at the Vale of Leven Hospital will remain in place over the term of the next parliament