Dumbarton Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called for a renewed commitment to improve Out of Hours services at the Vale of Leven hospital following a response from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde revealed that the service was closed 35 times between the 4 April 2019 and the 4 June 2019.
Information from the health board had previously revealed that there were 35 closures between the 1 January and the 31 March, meaning that the service has now been closed 70 times in the first 5 months of this year.
In the whole of 2018 the service was closed 83 times, and if the current trend continues, the number of closures in 2019 will be double that of the previous year.
The health board site the reason for the closures as GP availability.
“The trend of closures at the Vale of Leven’s Out of Hours service is not only continuing, but it is getting even worse. In the two months between 4 April and 4 June, the service suffered 35 closures – that is 35 days that patients in our community were expected to travel all the way to Paisley, or further, for an out of hours GP service.
“This is simply unacceptable. We know that GPs want to work at the Vale, but it is clear that not enough is being done by the health board to ensure that the Out of Hours service at the Vale is fully functioning.
“Following the meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has promised that they are looking at ways to strengthen the Out of Hours service at the Vale.
“It is now more clear than ever that solutions must be found quickly to ensure that patients in the Vale catchment area are not left without a service.”