Local MSP Jackie Baillie has issued a call for more transparency about the future of local health services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

This follows reports from her constituents about a sudden transfer of clinics from the Vale of Leven Hospital to the RAH in Paisley – without any consultation with patients. Norman Quirk from Rhu contacted Jackie Baillie’s office after discovering that one of his clinics has been moved to the RAH in Paisley. Jackie has raised the issue with the health board but has not yet received a response.

Norman said:

“I have attended Miss Chisholm’s General Surgery clinic at the Vale of Leven Hospital regularly since May but I have recently been told that my next appointment will be at the RAH. When I queried this I was told that it was part of a wider reorganisation which would see a number of clinics moved to the RAH. While extremely pleased with the care I have received, it is disappointing that the health board is moving clinics to Paisley without any form of public consultation. The fact that the Vale is a friendly and accessible hospital with fantastic staff makes it even more disappointing.”

Jackie Baillie slammed the health board for its lack of transparency about the reorganisation and called for more investment to halt the decline of local services. The transfer of clinics comes hot on the heels of the announcement of plans to centralise maternity services and other concerns about investment in the local staff and services:

  • Cancellation rates for clinics at the Vale have skyrocketed in recent years. There were 739 cancellations in 2014/15, a 200% increase since 2012/13 when 242 clinics were cancelled.
  • Staffing numbers at the Vale of Leven Hospital have been slashed by 20%. Since 2008 there are almost 200 fewer members of staff based at the hospital. Nurses and midwives have taken the largest hit with 90 fewer posts at the Vale of Leven Hospital since the SNP government came to power.

Jackie Baillie has written to the Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the SNP Health Secretary to demand the repatriation of the clinics to the Vale of Leven Hospital and a plan to invest in local services.

Jackie said:

“The health board is supposed to listen to the views of local patients so it is completely unacceptable that we have been left in the dark about plans to reorganise services and transfer some clinics to Paisley. People in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh will now have to wait longer and travel further away for health services which should be provided at our local hospital.

“The transfer of clinics to the RAH is only the tip of the iceberg. The SNP Government said it would protect services at the Vale of Leven Hospital but instead staffing numbers have been cut, cancellation rates have went through the roof and now there are even plans to close the maternity birth unit. So much for standing up for the Vale. The health board is tearing up the Vale Vision whilst the SNP government watches from the sidelines. We need an urgent plan to protect and improve our local services, halt the transfer of vital services to Paisley and invest in the infrastructure at the Vale of Leven Hospita

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