Glasgow & West Scotland

Minister saves closure-threatened Lightburn Hospital

Lightburn Hospital
Image caption Lightburn Hospital provides rehabilitative care for older patients

A closure-threatened community hospital in Glasgow's east end has been saved.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde wanted to transfer services from Lightburn Hospital to Stobhill and Glasgow Royal Infirmary, saving £650,000 a year.

More than 7,000 people signed a petition to save the 120-bed facility, near the city's Cranhill park.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has now asked the health board to revise its plans after being persuaded by local campaigners to intervene.

She said: "I have carefully considered all the available information and representations and, on balance, am not convinced by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's case for change."

'Patient's interests'

Ms Sturgeon added: "The government has a policy of maintaining local access to healthcare services where it is appropriate to do so, and where it is in patient's best interests.

"It is my view that local people's interests are best served by maintaining Lightburn Hospital and its healthcare services."

Lightburn Hospital provides rehabilitative care for older patients, including specialist units for stroke and post trauma patients.

It also has a day hospital service and out-patient clinics.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) wanted to transfer inpatient services to Stobhill Hospital in Balornock, in the north of the city, and outpatient services to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

The health board said this would give patients access to better care and generate savings.

There was significant opposition to the move among local people, clinicians and Glasgow MSPs, which saw thousands sign a petition and more than 100 people attend a protest march.

Having listened to their views, Ms Sturgeon said potential transport problems weighed heavily in her decision.

'Difficult decision'

"I also had to consider the real issues around the adequacy and availability of local public transport links, which local people may have used to access the proposed alternative hospital sites," she said.

"It is the case that hospital services are not static and need to change and in that context this has been a difficult decision.

"In this particular case, I am not convinced by the board's proposal for change, and am persuaded by the argument for maintaining local access to what is clearly regarded as valuable and high quality local facility."

In a statement, NHS GGC said: "The board sought to achieve a balance between the delivery of high quality inpatient care whilst maintaining locally accessible day care and outpatient services and felt that the proposals put forward would deliver this.

"We will, however, now revisit our plans for older peoples' services within the east of the city to ensure that we can deliver sustainable services with Lightburn Hospital as a vibrant component of this."

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