Local MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called on the SNP Scottish Government to take action to prevent what she has described as ‘the decimation of local health services’ following the revelation that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is planning to make cuts of £60 million.
A secret health board document has uncovered plans:
- to remove all emergency services from the Vale of Leven Hospital;
- to shut the children’s ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital [RAH];
- and threaten closure at Community Maternity Units at the Vale, Inverclyde and the RAH.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has already identified £13-14 million savings – and the paper highlights proposals for the additional £48 million required.
In addition to cutting local health services, the planning document also says that jobs will come under threat, stating: ‘Workforce is our biggest cost, to deliver this savings target we need to reduce the numbers of staff we have and establish lower unit costs ways of delivering services.’
Jackie Baillie, who is Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for Public Services, argues that the cuts would have severe consequences for local patients and is calling on the SNP to pledge to protect services.
She says: ‘This secret paper contains plans that would devastate local health services in my constituency and across the whole of the west of Scotland. With the future of the Community Maternity Units at Inverclyde, the Vale of Leven and the RAH hanging in the balance, the closure of the children’s ward at the RAH and the removal of emergency services at the Vale, our local health services would be cut to the bone.
‘Despite all the rhetoric, this paper makes it clear that NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde needs to make £60 million of savings. This is an devastating example of SNP austerity resulting in more cuts to our NHS and greater centralisation of services.
‘The SNP Health Secretary met with a group of my constituents only a few months ago and promised to protect and enhance services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.
‘Now we know that – all along – plans were being drawn up drastically to cut services, not just at the Vale but across the whole of the West of Scotland.
‘The SNP is ultimately in charge of the NHS in Scotland and after nearly a decade in government and a majority in parliament, people are fed up of them saying one thing but doing another.
‘Patients and NHS staff need a clear guarantee from the SNP Government that all services at the Vale of Leven, RAH and Inverclyde will be protected from the cuts.’
Note: The document referred to by Ms Baillie was seen by and has been published on here by The Evening Times tonight, 14th January 2016.