Hospital cuts protest at Vale of Leven
Vale of Leven hospital remains under threat from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde centralisation plans, say campaigners
A protest at the scaling down of the Vale of Leven Hospital took place this morning despite the local health board issuing reassurances over its future. It is the latest of a number of campaigns at the west of Scotland hospital since 2007.
Campaigners say hundreds attended today's demonstration after 1,887 local people signed a petition against cuts at the hospital.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board has said there are no plans to close the hospital, but A&E has been centralised to Paisley, and other services have been transferred elsewhere.
Campaign group Hospitalwatch said they believed the health board would eventually claim the hospital wasn’t viable.
In a letter to Health Secretary Shona Robison Hospitalwatch chairman Jim Moohan said: “The population of West Dunbartonshire and Argyll is approximately 120,000 spread over a vast area, which indicates there is a need for main services, including A&E, to be based at the Vale of Leven site.
“We have continually raised concern regarding the A82 and the hardship of individuals having to travel to Paisley to receive treatment. The means of transport for a vast number is either by bus or train.
“This difficulty is felt by the young to the very elderly on an everyday basis, with the A82 on a number of occasions being subject to very inclement weather, repairs, accidents and other unforeseen circumstances. This has been completely ignored by those in the health board and, I regretfully have to say, by the Scottish Government over the past 12 years since A&E was removed.”
Several health services have been centralised across Scotland over recent years as health boards look to make efficiency savings and shift care into communities.
However the National Clinical Strategy, published in February, claims smaller and community hospitals would be needed as part of moves to shift care closer to communities, with specialists working across more than one hospital.
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