Jackie Baillie MSP with local campaigners during a visit from Health Minister Jeane Freeman.
By Democrat reporter
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has welcomed the announcement that the evening service of the out of hours department at the Vale of Leven hospital will reopen in full from 19 February. This comes after almost two years of the service running at substantially reduced hours.
The reinstated service will begin at 6pm and will allow for local people to have full access to out of hours GPs all night and over the weekends.
Jackie Baillie, alongside many local people, HospitalWatch and the Lomond Patients Group has repeatedly called for the out of hours service to be reinstated in full. The MSP has met with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and health board chiefs on several occasions to raise the concerns that local people have about the continued operational issues that the OOH department had.
The MSP also met with local GPs to discuss how best they could take the service over and raised this option in the Scottish Parliament.
Jackie Baillie said: “This is a great day for our local community. Finally – after almost two years of inadequate access to out of hours service, this service will begin running again at full capacity. This comes after years of campaigning by myself, local people and groups such as HospitalWatch – together, we fought to protect and reopen this service.
“Huge thanks must go to local GPs for making this reopening possible. We owe them a debt of gratitude for putting the interests of local people first.”