Dumbarton Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called on Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board to be more open and transparent about their plans for changing our health services as part of the Moving Forward Together Programme.
In October 2017, the Health Board’s Chief Executive and Medical Director reported on the ‘Moving Forward Together: NHS GGC’S Health and Social Care Transformational Strategy Programme’ to the Health Board. The paper outlined a plan for transforming health services across the health board area, which will inevitably have an impact on local services and those delivered at the Vale of Leven hospital.
Since then the health board has set up a number of working groups involving clinicians, nursing staff and managers that have been meeting for well over a year to look at individual service areas.
Despite this, the health board is claiming that ‘no plans exist’ about particular service changes.
The health board’s own paper says that during phase 2 of the programme they would develop plans for a new model of care. Phase 2 of that plan has already taken place.
At the annual review meeting for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde on 11 March, Jackie raised the lack of detail with the health board and the Cabinet Secretary for Health and asked that the plans for change are made available, rather than discussing a blank sheet of paper.
It was therefore disappointing that at the poorly attended consultation meeting in Alexandria on the 13 March, health board chief’s told members of the community that they had no detailed plans for service changes in Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
“Trying to get information about the detail of Moving Forward Together is like trying to get blood out of a stone.
“The truth is that there are clinical working groups who have been meeting for the best part of a year, yet the health board say they have no plans. It is frankly quite extraordinary that highly paid clinicians and managers have been tied up for a year and have produced the sum total of nothing. It is simply not credible and suggests to me that the health board is refusing to share details with the public.
“Patients in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh simply want to know what services will available to them locally in health centres; what services will be available in the Vale of Leven Hospital; and what services they want to centralise elsewhere. Until we have that detail it is difficult to comment.
“The health board has already moved away from commitments that were made in the Vision for the Vale. Withholding information from the local community is simply not good enough. The health board must be more open about their plans, listen to patients concerns and engage with us properly about changes to our local services.”