St John’s Hospital (Paediatric Services)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 27th September 2018.

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Photo of Anas Sarwar Anas Sarwar Labour

I thank the cabinet secretary for prior sight of her statement. It is now six years since the staffing problems at St John’s were identified. The 24-hour service closed for the third time in July last year and has not reopened since, despite continued promises. That has understandably left families feeling let down, anxious and angry.

Does the cabinet secretary accept that the situation at St John’s is symptomatic of a wider issue of workforce shortages across the whole of the national health service in Scotland and that that requires a credible and deliverable workforce plan? The cabinet secretary mentioned the milestones in response to Miles Briggs. Will she set out how those milestones will be communicated to local families, so that they are kept in the loop? Finally, what was missing from the statement was a commitment to when a sustainable 24-hour service will resume. Will the cabinet secretary give a target date today? Otherwise, local families will be left to believe that this is yet again nothing more than warm words and false promises.