HEALTH BOARD URGED TO GET ITS ACT TOGETHER AT VALE

Vale of Leven Hospital exterior

Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria where the out of hours service is appalling.

By Bill Heaney

The Vale of Leven Hospital’s Out-of-hours Service has an appalling record.

Jackie Baillie, the MSP for Dumbarton and Lomond, raised the matter again yesterday in the Holyrood parliament.

She told Nicola Sturgeon: “The First Minister might be aware that the provision of out-of-hours services in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde continues to be a significant problem.

“Last year, the out-of-hours service at the Vale of Leven hospital was closed 88 times.

“In the first four months of this year, it has been closed 44 times, and it was closed this weekend.

“Hundreds of patients had to make the long journey to the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley for what should be the most basic local provision.

“Will the First Minister ensure that out-of-hours services are improved and retained at the Vale of Leven hospital?”

The First Minister said that since she was Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy, it had always been the SNP government’s intention to ensure that as many services as possible—out-of-hours and others—are retained at the Vale of Leven hospital.

“The Health Secretary has advised me that she is due to visit the Vale of Leven hospital next month, and I am sure that she will have those discussions with staff there.

“I expect Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board, as I expect all health boards, to take every measure possible to ensure safe and sustainable out-of-hours services.

“I know that there have been some issues recently at the Vale of Leven, but I expect the board to work hard to rectify them so that the services are there, locally, for the people who need them.”

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