Too many patients & NHS staff feel they are not being listened to

The minority Scottish Government tasted parliamentary defeat last night (28 Sep) after Greens and other opposition parties passed a motion to call-in proposals for local hospital closures and downgrades.

Opposition parties also voted against an amendment by the health secretary that attempted to play down the prospect of the downgrading of local health services.

In a debate called “Protect Local NHS Services”, Ross Greer MSP highlighted concerns about the future of local services, including maternity services at the Vale of Leven hospital and paediatric services at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, saying that “too many patients, families and staff members feel they are not being listened to [by the government]”.

West of Scotland MSP, Ross Greer said:

“There is widespread public concern over these proposals. Too many patients, families and staff members feel they are not being listened to. And for too many this has been the case for a long time.

“In maternity care, we know supporting patient choice is incredibly important. I’m sure we all want a full range of options to be locally available.  If women can no longer choose to give birth in Community Maternity Units in the Vale of Leven and Inverclyde, more will be booked into hospitals in Glasgow.  We risk pushing women into delivering babies in environments which are not what they would have chosen. 

“Some may be able to have a midwife-led birth at the Royal Alexandra’s Community Midwife Unit.  However, my constituents from the Vale of Leven and further West do not feel this is a local service.

“There are fundamental questions about access to be answered and I’m not sure we’re ready for changes to local services on this scale. We need to make sure we have solid, well-supported community services, flexible enough to handle the impact of any hospital closures. We need to know that clinical benefits for patients are proven, not just assumed, before pressing ahead with service changes.”