The DEMOCRAT

5 February 2018

Vale of Leven GP out-of-hours closed on Sunday – again

Dumbarton and Lochside MSP Jackie Baillie, Health Secretary Shona Robison and the Vale of Leven Hospital.

Local MSP Jackie Baillie has demanded answers from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde following reports that the Vale of Leven Hospital’s GP out-of-hours service was closed during daytime on Sunday 4 February.

Patients took to social media to alert others that the local GP service was closed and the nearest available service was the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

The future of the out-of-hours service is currently under review after the Vale unit was hit by a series of temporary closures due to staff shortages over the past year. Jackie Baillie has challenged SNP Health Secretary Shona Robison to issue a clear guarantee that staff shortages will not be used as an excuse to slash opening hours at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

Jackie said:  “Local patients in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond need a locally accessible out-of-hours service at the Vale of Leven Hospital. It is disappointing that we are still experiencing temporary closures almost a whole year on since the staffing issues first came to light. There may have been a good reason for the closure on Sunday but this has been going on for months. What have Shona Robison and the health board been doing all this time?

“Out-of-hours is a basic service which is a core component of any local healthcare system. It is not an optional extra and our local GPs agree that any plans to reduce the service would put lives at risk. Many local families don’t have access to a car and public transport to Paisley is virtually non-existent on Sundays so a whole section of our population is effectively denied access to local health services.

“Shona Robison needs to get a grip of the situation and issue a clear guarantee that the Vale of Leven Hospital’s GP out-of-hours service will be protected from cuts.”

 

ENDS

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