Integrated Care (Vale of Leven Hospital)

Part of Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:41 am on 14 June 2007.

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Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party 11:41, 14 June 2007

That is a matter for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde but, as the member is aware, no decisions have been taken on proposals for service change at the Vale of Leven hospital. However, I have been clear that all future proposals for significant service change will be subject to rigorous independent scrutiny before public consultation. That will ensure that all information that health boards present is factual and evidence based and that the choice that is presented to the public is fair and genuine. I will make a further announcement soon about the form that such independent scrutiny will take.

If, following public consultation, national health service boards make proposals for significant service change, those proposals will come to me for a final decision. In considering them, I will operate a presumption against centralisation of services. That does not mean no change in any circumstances, but it means that any proposals will have to be robust, that all possible alternatives will have to be properly considered and that due weight must be given to public opinion.

I look forward to meeting the member in just over an hour's time to discuss the issue in more detail.