SNP Health Minister Shona Robison is under pressure to keep her pre-election promises on protecting local NHS services.
Senior SNP figures, including the Shona Robison and Nicola Sturgeon, made promises to our community before the Scottish Parliament elections to continue to support the Vision for the Vale agreement, including the provision of local maternity services.
Now NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is consulting on proposals to close the birthing unit at the Vale and centralise services at the RAH in Paisley or the QEUH in Glasgow. This goes against the promise made in the Vision for the Vale to ‘sustain and promote’ the Community Maternity Unit.
Visiting the Vale of Leven Hospital with Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie today, Scottish Labour’s Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar said that the SNP Government must have the final say on any changes by calling in the proposals.
Anas Sarwar and Jackie Baillie had a tour of the Community Maternity Unit and spoke to local midwives to get an insight of the journey of local mums-to-be from pregnancy right through to birth and post-natal care at the Vale of Leven Hospital.
Labour Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar said:
“Before the election the SNP said they would stand up for the Vale but as soon as the votes were counted the health board formally announced its plans to axe vital local maternity services.
“The SNP Health Secretary must break her silence and say whether or not she will step in to save local NHS services. Local campaigners will never forgive the SNP if they stand by and do nothing while the health board rips up the promises made in the Vision for the Vale.
“The SNP has been in charge of our health service for almost a decade. It’s time they took responsibility for the cuts to local NHS services.”
Jackie Baillie added:
“I wanted Anas Sarwar to see the facilities available at the local maternity unit and meet some of the hard-working midwives at the Vale of Leven Hospital. The commitment to high quality care was evident from the way the midwives spoke about their work and the local women they have helped give birth at the Vale.
“The first-class facilities in the maternity unit are second to none. The waiting room was bursting at the seams during my visit with women attending ante-natal appointments. It would be absolutely devastating for our local hospital and the community if the health board goes ahead with its plans to close the birthing unit because it would mean that there would be no more babies born at the Vale. The SNP promised that local maternity services would be protected and I want them to deliver on that promise