Why do Health Board officials lie? Plan to end clinics at Vale were never approved is exposed by MSP

Jackie Baillie MSP, Cabinet Secretary Jeane Freeman and Vale of Leven Hospital.

A question asked in Parliament by MSP, Jackie Baillie, to Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman, revealed that officers of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde misled members of the Acute Services Committee in a paper at their 17 July meeting.

At the meeting of the Acute Services Committee members were presented with a paper entitled ‘Breast Service Review and Redesign: Implementation Update’. One of the paper’s recommendations asked members to ‘Note that discussions with the Scottish Government are ongoing but the Scottish Government has indicated satisfaction with the level of engagement in relation to the set of proposals’.

However, during an exchange at General Questions in the Scottish Parliament this week the new Cabinet Secretary for Health revealed that:

‘It is the Scottish Health Council that actually provides a recommendation and review to me as the Cabinet Secretary as to whether a board in wider ranging consultation has undertaken that properly and in this instance we are not yet at that stage.’

 She completely failed to confirm the claim made by the health board that the Scottish Government approved of the engagement.

The claim by the health board also runs contrary to the views of the Scottish Health Council.

Had the paper been approved by members of the committee, this service change would have been pushed through based on inaccurate and misleading information.

Jackie said:  “It is shocking that officers of the health board misled members of the Acute Services Committee in a bid to have a paper approved which would have seen breast services centralised at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

“The health board had already been advised by the Scottish Health Council that the consultation on the options appraisal with just one patient was not adequate. And today the Cabinet Secretary disowned their suggestion that the Scottish Government was satisfied with the engagement to date.

“Clearly this health board cannot be trusted to engage with patients in this area, never mind the wider population, before taking decisions which are patently not in our interests. The Cabinet Secretary must surely now intervene.’

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