Following the confirmation by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde that they intend to close the children's ward (Ward 15) at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Ross has continued to raise objections to the plan. During the consultation period, Ross submitted the objection that is shared below.
Response to Consultation on Proposal to Regarding Ward 15
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have proposed moving paediatrics services from Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. In addition to this, children requiring A&E will be seen at the Royal Hospital for Children. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have stated that moving paediatrics will provide several benefits, including access to specialist services and advanced equipment, increased coordination among children’s services, and further training opportunities for staff.
We recognise that there are benefits to moving paediatric services, but have not been presented with any evidence suggesting that current access to the specialist or advanced equipment at the Royal Hospital for Children is not to a high enough standard.
There are a number of concerns about this proposed move that we do not feel have been adequately addressed. These concerns mainly relate to accessibility and the process of the consultation.
Accessibility. There are serious concerns about the accessibility of the Royal Hospital for Children for the patients in the current catchment area for the Royal Alexandria Hospital. The patients currently at RAH will face increased travel times, which can be particularly difficult for patients with chronic pain, fatigue, or other health conditions that make mobility difficult. It would also create difficulties for those patients who rely on public transportation. For many people living in East Renfrewshire this would involve taking two buses, raising concerns about costs of transportation, particularly for those regularly visiting inpatients. The Transport Assessment undertaken by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has not adequately addressed access by public transportation.
Consultation. A number of concerns have been raised by patients and staff at the RAH regarding the adequacy of the consultation. Previous changes to hospital service provision have not adequately engaged with the public to communicate what changes are happening and why. The national specialist service committee’s own papers on the proposals acknowledged that there were “lessons to be learned”. It is not clear that these lessons have been learned. The aforementioned Transport Assessment, for example, only included a single person using public transportation and is therefore not an adequate transport assessment. Patients, backed up by staff, have reported that they do not feel their views have been taken into consideration in this process.
Further, staff have also raised concerns that the quality of their care is being undermined by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s emphasis on the supposed improvements awaiting patients if Ward 15 is to move. Staff members, backed by patients, who have contacted us feel that the quality of care they provided is to a very high standard and that the way the benefits of the new hospital are being presented undermines that standard.
For these reasons, we are opposed to paediatrics services being moved from Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.
Office of Ross Greer MSP