The SNP Government must step in to guarantee the future of local birthing services at the Vale of Leven Hospital’s Community Maternity Unit, local MSP Jackie Baillie said.
The call comes after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde voted against a Labour bid to stop the plans to transfer all births to the RAH in Paisley or the QEUH in Govan. Labour councillor Gail Casey, who represents West Dunbartonshire on the health board, seconded an amendment put forward by Cllr Mark Macmillan, Labour leader of Renfrewshire Council, to halt the cuts.
In another blow for local families, the health board confirmed that it would not launch a full public consultation on the plans. They said that ‘extensive public engagement’ has already taken place on the proposals and offered only a limited form of ‘re-engagement’ with local people. If the closure of the Vale of Leven Community Maternity Unit is not designated as a major service change, then the proposals will not go before the Cabinet Secretary for Health and the health board will get away with closing the unit.
“The Vision for the Vale promised to sustain local delivery services at the Community Maternity Unit and the SNP Government must ensure that these promises are kept. I will be working alongside local campaigners to demand the SNP Health Secretary’s intervention to save our local services.
“The health board’s attempt to try and rush this closure through while paying minimal lip service to public consultation is yet another slap in the face for local families. This is not a genuine and meaningful consultation and the health board’s claim that engagement has already taken place is, quite frankly, ludicrous. The health board has a £69 million black hole in its budget this year and it is clearly determined to cut our local services without listening to the views of people in our communities.
“Only the SNP Government has the power now to step in and save our local services. The Cabinet Secretary must insist that the final decision on the CMU is hers and hers alone. The SNP must not remain silent while the health board rips up the promises made in the Vision for the Vale