NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde must put its plans to scrap births at the Vale of Leven maternity unit on hold until the SNP Government completes its review of national policy, local MSP Jackie Baillie has said.
The findings of the SNP Government’s Review of Maternity and Neonatal Services are not due to be published until after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde launches its consultation on transferring birth services to Paisley or Govan.
The SNP Government revealed that the review would publish its report in late summer/early autumn -; just weeks after the health board consultation is launched – in response to a parliamentary question tabled by Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie.
That means the health board will make its final decision on the proposals to go forward for public consultation on Tuesday 16 August without the benefit of the expert evidence heard by the government-led review.
The review is examining the choice available to pregnant women and the safety and quality of services across Scotland, and Jackie Baillie believes that the health board should wait to hear their final recommendations before putting their own plans out for public consultation.
“The health board must not rush ahead with plans to close the birthing unit at the Vale of Leven until we know the outcome of the SNP Government’s national review of maternity services. It simply does not make sense to hold a national review if individual health boards are allowed to go to consultation on plans which were drawn up just weeks before the recommendations are published. This is a shambolic way to make decisions that will affect new mums and babies across Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond.
“Local women have been giving birth at the Vale for generations so the least the health board can do is put the cuts plans on hold for a few weeks. How can local people trust the health board to listen to them if the health board will not even wait a few weeks to listen to the experts