Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has been contacted by a number local people about the proposal to close the Fruin and Katrine Wards at the Vale of Leven Hospital and move staff and patients to Glasgow.
Staff and family members of patients on these wards learnt of the plans via social media over the weekend, rather than actually being spoken to by any representative from either the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board or the West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership.
Both the Fruin and Katrine wards provide specialist care for those suffering from Dementia, as well as being a source of local support for the families and loved ones of these patients.
Over the weekend, Jackie Baillie wrote urgently to the Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Board, the West Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership and to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, to demand that these plans are scrapped and that staff and family members are given the respect and courtesy of being reassured about the future of the wards.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“I was shocked and appalled to learn of these plans over the weekend. How anyone can think it is a good idea to cause such disruption and upheaval for Dementia patients, their families and our hardworking staff is completely beyond me.
“Not only is the proposal incredibly ill-thought out, but the way that they have been announced and circulated is utterly unacceptable. Hearing that these wards are set to close from social media posts, rather than from health bosses, has been hugely distressing for all the staff who provide vital Dementia care, as well as for the family members who have loved ones on these wards.
“It is of the utmost importance that these essential services are retained at the Vale of Leven hospital. In this case it is the West Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership that is proposing the closure as an option that would remove local access for people to services and these plans must be stopped in their tracks.
“I will raise this in parliament and will continue to oppose such closures in the strongest terms. My priority is to stand the patients, staff and loved ones who rely on these services being delivered from the Vale of Leven hospital and to ensure that the decision is reversed.”