Vale of Leven Hospital exterior

Vale of Leven Hospital could be used for virus patients, says Jackie Baillie MSP.

By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, today met with Jane Grant, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chief Executive; Jonathan Best, Chief Operating Officer for Acute Services, and John Brown, Chair of the Board.

At the meeting, Jackie Baillie urged the trio to take full advantage of the spare bed capacity at the Vale of Leven hospital in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was confirmed that ward six of the Vale of Leven hospital is being considered as a back-up option, should the need for more beds intensify, as the number of diagnosed positive cases increase.

The need to build capacity within the workforce was also discussed. Plans are currently being drawn up which would see retired healthcare professionals as well student staff members being brought on and placed in frontline positions. Specialist-trained staff will also be moved to frontline care provision.

Jackie Baillie also urged the health board to expand the current levels of testing in order to gain a more accurate idea of the scale of the problem and ensure that healthcare and social care workers are urgently tested so that they are safe to be at work.

Jackie Baillie MSP, John Brown and Jane Grant.

Ms Baillie also restated her demands that the Vale of Leven Out of Hours service be reopened to run at full capacity, especially given the increased need for local residents to see a GP.

Jackie Baillie said: “I had a constructive meeting with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“I urged the health board to make full use of the extra beds that are lying empty at the Vale of Leven hospital.

“Given the sharp daily rises in the number of coronavirus cases that we are seeing, it would be counter-intuitive for the health board not to use all of the resources that they have available to them.

“I also reiterated my demands for the Vale of Leven Out of Hours service to be restored to its full opening hours. It is utterly unacceptable that my constituents are having to travel to Stobhill hospital in Springburn or the Victoria hospital in the southside of Glasgow in order for them to see an Out of Hours GP.

“The discussions between the health board and local GPs have been positive but we need a greater sense of urgency in restoring the local service. As ever, I am grateful to our local GPs for their efforts.

“Now more than ever, local residents need to feel reassured and have full confidence in their local health service. Restoring the Out of Hours service and using the Vale’s spare capacity would go a long way in achieving this.”

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