Get off your backside or resign, council leader told

MSP Jackie Baillie, Cllr Jonathan McColl and Vale of Leven Hospital.

By Bill Heaney

MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called for West Dunbartonshire Council leader Jonathan McColl to resign from the board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to allow the views of the area’s to be heard as he has continued to miss crucial meetings.

In June, it was revealed that Councillor McColl had attended just 30 per cent of meetings of the health board and its committees and, despite his excuses at the time, new board papers reveal that he has failed to attend a further two meetings of the Staff and Governance Committee.

A letter from the chair of the Clinical and Care Governance Committee has also confirmed that following the news that he had missed every meeting of the committee between September 2017 and June 2018, Councillor McColl is now no longer a member of this committee.

Including those previously reported, Councillor McColl has missed 14 out of 21 meetings of the health board and committees.

Ms Baillie said: “It is disappointing that Councillor McColl continues to miss crucial meetings of the health board and its committees.

“We know that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde does not value the views of patients given that they failed to consult with anyone in the area on the breast cancer service review. That is why need proper representation at every health board and committee meeting.

“If representing his constituents wasn’t reason enough for Councillor McColl to attend these meetings, the £8251 he gets paid to do so should be.

“He needs to commit to attend all future meetings or be replaced by someone who will put the needs of constituents first.”

Meanwhile, Ms Baillie, has called for resources to be directed to health boards across Scotland as new figures show that more than 1400 beds in acute care services in the NHS have been cut under the SNP Government.

New statistics from ISD Scotland show that the number of beds in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have decreased by a total of 643 since the SNP took over. From 4,605 in 2008/09 to 3,962 in 2017/18. This represents a 13% reduction.

The slashing of hospital beds right across the country has coincided with the SNP’s failure to honour their promise to end delayed discharge and the growing number of vacant nursing posts, creating an NHS capacity crisis.

Jackie Baillie said: “Scotland’s NHS is being mismanaged by the SNP Government, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde alone has 600 fewer beds than it did a decade ago. This is almost half of the total reduction in bed numbers across Scotland.

“This comes amid the SNP’s broken promise to end delayed discharge and the skyrocketing number of vacant nursing posts, causing a capacity crisis in hospital wards.

“Our NHS staff are continuing to work hard despite the reduction in resources under the SNP but it’s time that they are properly supported. Labour’s workforce commission will design a blueprint for the health service’s future to ensure that the NHS which was created under a Labour government is protected.”

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