- 09:00 am, Thu 16th May 2013
HEALTH MINISTER VOWS TO LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF LOCAL RESIDENTS
EARLIER this month, I, together with the local hospital campaign team, took our fight for a north of the river solution for local health services to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil MSP, at the Scottish Parliament.
This was a positive meeting, where we pushed for acute services to be delivered at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, instead of patients travelling across the Erskine Bridge to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.
Since January, over 9,000 residents from Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, Clydebank and further afield have signed our petition to bring health services back to this side of the River Clyde. Mr Neil was presented with the signed postcards and seemed impressed at the level of public support this campaign has received.
The group insisted that the Health Minister needed to keep services local and I asked him to ensure that all current services at the Vale of Leven Hospital would be maintained at the Alexandria site, following the health board’s Clinical Services Review.
During our discussions, Mr Neil confirmed that there would be no obstacle to the health board using the Golden Jubilee hospital for acute services and acknowledged our desire to have a full A&E service at Dalmuir.
At present eight working groups are currently reviewing services across the health boards remit and are due to present their findings in July. A public consultation will then be formally launched in September 2013.
Although the health board and the Cabinet Secretary appear to be listening to the concerns of local residents we cannot afford to be complacent and we will continue to monitor the progress of this review closely.
There is still a lot of work to be done over the summer months and we are continuing our plea for local groups, community councils and other organisations to write to Alex Neil to tell him why you are supporting our campaign. We are so close to getting what we have always wanted, a north of the river solution, with the Vale of Leven and Golden Jubilee hospitals working in partnership to provide the best possible healthcare for our community. I promise that I will not take my eye off that prize.
We need to get the message across once and for all that the Royal Alexandra in Paisley really is a bridge too far.