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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde announced the complete suspension of out-of-hours services in Inverclyde, and their effective closure at sites across Glasgow and in my constituency at the Vale of Leven hospital. That most basic of emergency services will no longer operate between 5 pm and midnight, or at weekends, forcing my constituents to travel more than 20 miles to get to an accident and emergency service. That will simply add to the waiting times at A and E, instead of treating people locally.
I say to the First Minister that temporary is 18 months to two years. The report from Sir Lewis Ritchie was five years ago. The health board has had years to sort out the problem; however, it has instead stuck its head in the sand and done nothing.
Will the First Minister instruct the health board to reverse the decision; agree that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport will meet me and local campaigners, who are devastated by the action; and—while she is at it—sack the chair and chief executive of
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Jackie Baillie will be aware that it was partly concern about out-of-hours performance that led the health secretary to elevate the board to level 4 of the monitoring regime. I am advised by the health secretary that she has asked Calum Campbell, who has been appointed by the Scottish Government as the board’s turnaround director, to meet with and speak to Jackie Baillie about the local issues in her constituency. If that contact has not yet been made, it will be made shortly.
The changes are temporary. We want the health board to prioritise improvements to the services at the Vale of Leven and Inverclyde. We see that as a priority, and we will work closely with the board as it takes forward the other improvements that it is required to make.