Local MSP Jackie Baillie has urged Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership to reject a raft of cuts proposed to make savings of £14 million in 2018/19.

Councillors and NHS Highland’s appointees on the Health and Social Care Partnership will meet on Wednesday to agree measures to tackle the budget shortfall.

The trade union for health and care workers, UNISON, has issued a warning that the cuts would result in 400 redundancies and a ‘slash and burn approach to services’.

Patients in Helensburgh and Lomond could be hardest hit by proposals to reduce Argyll and Bute’s reliance on hospital services provided by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, including at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

Jackie Baillie is seeking support from MSPs in other parties for her parliamentary motion opposing the cuts and calling on the Scottish Government to fully fund the Health and Social Care Partnership to protect jobs and services.

Jackie said:

“I am shocked by the level of cuts proposed by the Health and Social Care Partnership and I stand by UNISON members in calling for these proposals to be rejected.

“Patients in Helensburgh and Lomond should have the same rights to access services at the Vale of Leven Hospital and other hospitals in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as patients in West Dunbartonshire. It would be completely unfair if the HSCP decides to withdraw from previous agreements which ensured that Helensburgh and Lomond patients did not suffer any disadvantage from being located within NHS Highland despite their proximity to Glasgow.

“These cuts would change the face of local health services as we know it and the SNP Government needs to ensure that the HSCP has the funding it needs to protect services

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