The SNP Government must respect the will of the Scottish Parliament and use its powers to stop the planned cuts at the Vale of Leven Hospital, local MSP Jackie Baillie has said today.
On Wednesday the SNP Government experienced a rare parliamentary defeat after all opposition parties united to support the campaign to protect local health services. The Scottish Parliament passed a Labour motion calling for the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison MSP, to make the final decision on proposals to cut maternity services at the Vale of Leven Hospital and other under-threat local services across Scotland by 64 votes to zero, with 62 SNP abstentions.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has announced a list of proposed cuts designed to plug its £69 million deficit, including the closure of the birthing unit at the Vale of Leven Hospital and the transfer of emergency children’s services from the RAH to the QEUH in Govan. If the SNP Government accepts the result of the vote in Parliament then the decision on the future of local services will be taken out of the hands of the health board and made by the SNP government.
Prior to the election Shona Robison made promises to this area in an election leaflet when she said:
“I will not approve any move away from the Vision for the Vale commitment”.
Scottish Labour is seeking an urgent statement from the SNP Health Secretary this week on the future of local health services in light of the vote in parliament.
“The Scottish Parliament has expressed its clear view that the SNP Government should step in to take the decision about the continuation of local services at the Vale. Promises were made by the Health Secretary before the election to this community and I want her to keep her promises. If the decision on the Vale Maternity Unit is left to the health board, then it will close as night follows day.
“The SNP Government must call in the health board’s proposals so it has the final say on the cuts. It would be completely unacceptable if the SNP said that this was a matter was for the health board.
“The will of parliament cannot be ignored and the SNP Health Secretary must break her silence on whether or not she will stop the cuts at the Vale maternity un