Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has secured a commitment from Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government, that every effort will be made not to close the Fruin and Katrine Dementia wards at the Vale of Leven hospital.
During today’s session of First Minister’s Questions, Jackie Baillie raised the fears expressed to her by staff, patients and family members, that the Fruin and Katrine wards would be moving to Glasgow. This followed staff being told about the closure of the wards and the transfer of patients by senior managers last Friday.
The First Minister confirmed that the issue of staff shortages – the issue cited as the reason for any potential closures – has been solved on a temporary basis.
Jeane Freeman, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, also responded to a written letter from Jackie Baillie. Within the response, she confirmed that “arrangements are being finalised to ensure that there is no disruption to services going forward.”
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“I am pleased to have secured a commitment from the First Minister today that every effort will be made to keep these vital wards open. I also welcome the positive intervention from Jeane Freeman.
“There have been mixed messages coming from the Health & Social Care Partnership this week about the future of these wards and their communication with hardworking staff has been less than satisfactory. Moving dementia patients and staff whether on a temporary or permanent basis is the worst possible option and instead they should have made more effort to secure the services of another consultant on a locum basis.
“My priority is first and foremost to stand up for the staff, patients and family members whose lives would be hugely disrupted by any decision to close the Fruin and Katrine wards.
“The services that are provided on these wards are vital and it is more important than ever that local people have local access to care and support. I will always put the interests of my constituents first and they can count on me to stand up for them and for the Vale of Leven hospital.”