Local MSP Jackie Baillie has written to Clydebank and Milngavie SNP MSP Gil Paterson this week to seek his support for a Holyrood debate on the future of the Vale maternity unit.

Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie has lodged a parliamentary motion opposing the transfer of birthing services but she needs to secure the support of enough MSPs from different parties to win one of a limited number of debating slots in the Holyrood chamber. Her motion, titled ‘Save our Services’ says that closing the maternity unit would break the promise in the Vision for the Vale to ‘sustain and promote’ services.

The motion has already won the backing of 10 MSPs but it has not yet reached the threshold for cross-party support. Jackie needs the support of one more MSP from another party┬áto secure a debate and she made the personal appeal to the Clydebank MSP since some of his constituents fall within the Vale of Leven Hospital’s catchment area.

Jackie said:

“It would be unacceptable if our democratically elected Parliament is not able to debate the future of our local hospital but this is precisely what will happen if MSPs from other parties continue to withhold their support.

“My motion is non-party political and does not seek to blame anyone for the cuts. I want to work across the party divide to protect our local services because this issue is more important than individual party politics. The maternity unit at the Vale of Leven Hospital is a vital service and local women should not be forced to travel to Paisley or even Govan to give birth.

“I have written to Gil Paterson MSP because, as a fellow MSP colleague in West Dunbartonshire, I know he will appreciate how much local people value the staff and services at the Vale of Leven Hospital. I hope that he will agree to work together so we can make sure that the voices of local women are heard loud and clear in the Scottish Parliament

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