Dumbarton and Lomond constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has organised joint public meetings with Hospitalwatch to discuss the future of hospital services in the area. The meetings will form part of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s consultation process on their service change programme, Moving Forward Together. Two meetings have been organised locally to give as many people as possible the opportunity to have their views heard:
- Tuesday 9 April, Concord Centre, Dumbarton, 7.30pm
- Thursday 11 April, Helensburgh Parish Church, 7pm
Jackie Baillie MSP and Jim Moohan, Chair of Hospitalwatch, pictured, have encouraged local people to attend the meetings to ensure that health services in the area are shaped by the needs of people locally. Jackie Baillie said: ““The health board have previously organised one meeting in Alexandria as part of their consultation process for the Moving Forward Together programme but given the potential impact that these changes will have on patients in our local community it is so important that as many people as possible have a say in shaping how our health services will be provided. I would encourage as many local people as possible to attend these meetings, we need to make sure that our health service reflects our needs and that there is a bright future for the Vale of a Leven hospital.”
One of the items certain to be discussed at these meetings is delayed discharge. Ms Baillie MSP has called on the Scottish Government to provide more money for health and social care in a bid to end delayed discharge. New data from ISD Scotland shows that more than 4000 bed days were lost to delayed discharge for preventable reasons in February. Delayed discharge, the practice of people being left stuck in hospital despite being medically fit to leave, often arises because social care packages – that would allow someone to safely return home or to a community setting – are not in place. In total, 4,602 bed days were lost to delayed discharge in February across Greater Glasgow and Clyde, this is an increase on January where a total of 4,155 days were lost.
Jackie Baillie said: “Delayed discharge is the consequence of under-investment in social care by this SNP Government. That is despite the SNP promising to end the practice and completely failing to do so. Delayed discharge costs our NHS thousands of pounds every year, and can expose patients to hospital infections when they should be recuperating at home. It’s time that this Scottish Government kept their promise and invested in social care to ensure that delayed discharge is a thing of the past.”