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Health (East Glasgow)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 21st January 2016.

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Photo of Paul Martin Paul Martin Labour

3. To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve health in the east end of Glasgow. (S4O-05286)

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

Improving the nation’s health is a priority and we are committed to prioritising our health service and making sure that it is fit for purpose. We have already substantially increased funding for all boards, with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s budget increasing by 21.3 per cent since 2007. That will give the board a record budget of £2,078.9 million pounds in 2016-17, which is £96.3 million higher than in 2015-16.

We also need to up the pace on transferring services to the community as we push forward the integration of health and social care. That is why we are investing some £250 million in that area in next year’s budget, of which Glasgow will receive its proportionate share.

Photo of Paul Martin Paul Martin Labour

The cabinet secretary will be aware of the crucial role that Lightburn hospital plays in improving health in the east end of Glasgow and the concerns of the local community that the hospital has been earmarked for closure by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Can she assure me that Lightburn hospital will have a future beyond the next 10 years?

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

As I made clear to Paul Martin at health questions last week, none of the suggestions in what is a draft discussion paper has been formally put forward for consideration. The chair of the health board made that clear in his comments.

The member will be aware that, when she was health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon rejected proposals to close Lightburn hospital in 2011. She did so because she had repeatedly heard, not least from local patients and clinicians, that the hospital provided high-quality services that were greatly valued by what is a significantly disadvantaged community. I would have to be convinced by any formal proposals to close the hospital that that position had materially changed and that what would replace the hospital would demonstrably provide a better service. However, as I have made clear, no formal proposal has come to me. What we are discussing today is a draft paper that contains issues that the board has not in any way accepted as concrete proposals.