I attended a meeting of the save Lightburn campaign group on Monday of this week. The chief executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was also invited, but he declined to attend the event. Does the minister share my concern that an official paid to the tune of a reported £190,000 per year cannot take the trouble to attend that event? A look at the hospitality registered by Mr Calderwood will show a round of golf or something that he is quite keen to attend, but he cannot take the time to attend an event in the east end to assure local people that their local hospital will not be closing.
I am not going to get into issues about individuals, but, as I have said to Paul Martin before, I know that local people very much value the local hospital. I also know about the issue from the correspondence that I have had from Parkinson’s UK. I have responded to assure it that the contents of the draft discussion paper have not in any way been accepted as concrete proposals by the board, and nothing has come to me for approval.
I have also made it very clear to Paul Martin previously that there would have to be some material change from the position that was held when Nicola Sturgeon was the health secretary in 2011, when she rejected what was at the time a formal proposal to close Lightburn hospital because she had heard repeatedly—not least from local patients and clinicians—that the hospital provided a high-quality service that was greatly valued by the local community.
I noted that the Parkinson’s UK submission for this afternoon’s debate was stressing very much that it did not want the issue to become party political. It wants support from across the board and does not want it turned into a party-political issue. That is perhaps something that we should all take notice of.