End this Health Board shambles now demand to Sturgeon and the SNP government

By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond has launched a public petition against the closure of the local GP Out of Hours Service at the Vale of Leven hospital.

This is following news earlier this week that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is effectively shutting down the GP Out of Hours services at the Vale of Leven hospital.

The service will now only operate between midnight and 8am on weekdays from Monday – Friday, with patients being redirected to either the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley or the Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow, during evenings and weekends.

Essentially it means that the service will not be available between 5pm and midnight during the week and also not available at weekends. Jackie believes that this is when the majority of patients would have used the service, so it is effectively closed so far as she is concerned.

The petition calls for the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, to intervene and reverse NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board decision. The local MSP is asking the community to stand together again to stop this attack on our local Out of Hours service by signing the petition and sharing this with family and friends.

There are also two public meetings being planned as follows:

Helensburgh Parish Church Hall from 7pm on Friday 27th March

The Concord Centre in Dumbarton from 7:30pm on Monday 30th March 

Local MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “I am furious at the Health Board’s decision to effectively close our Out of Hours service.

“I have called on both the First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Health to step in, reverse these changes and sack the Chief Executive and Chair for their gross incompetence.”

Pressure grows on the SNP to find a solution that will keep Vale of Leven Hospital in operation for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We need to bring public pressure to bear on both the Health Board and the Government, that’s why today I am launching a petition against the GP Out of Hours closure in the evenings and at weekends.

“The boards complete disregard for the interests of the local community is breath-taking, and to have made these changes without consulting them, is unacceptable.

“The reality is many people put off going to their GP because they think they are not sufficiently unwell, but by the time they realise they need treatment, that’s when they need the GP Out of Hours service.  Many people will also be put off travelling further afield from their home, because many won’t have access to public transport. This may delay essential medical treatment and could cost someone their life.

“Weekends and between 5pm and midnight are when the service will be at its busiest, which means people being diverted to other hospitals will only further add to A&E waiting times.

“We need to stand together and say enough is enough, they need to reverse these changes. That’s why I am calling on all local people to sign this petition, share it with family and friends. Come along to one of the public meetings but please let us know in advance if you will be coming.

“I will fight this every inch of the way, but I need your support to do so. Let’s stand together and fight for our local Out of Hours service.”

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