Glasgow & West Scotland

Health board says £60m cuts and closure paper 'not final'

Lightburn Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption The NHS GGC paper was reported to have included proposals for the closure of Lightburn Hospital

Scotland's largest health board has said a leaked paper outlining £60m of possible cuts is a "discussion paper" rather than an "approved plan".

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) document outlined options for jobs and service cuts, including the closure of Lightburn Hospital, near Carntyne.

The health board said the leak had "caused unnecessary concern" to staff, unions and patients.

It said service delivery plans would not be ready until the end of February.

The leaked document was reported in the Evening Times newspaper on Thursday.

'Potential challenges'

The paper said some nursing posts and specialist positions such as radiographers were under threat.

It reported that the plan also covered the closure of Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow, a paediatric ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) in Paisley and a transfer of emergency care from the Vale of Leven Hospital to the RAH.

NHS GGC chairman John Brown has now said he is "concerned that recent media reports" have "caused unnecessary concern to our patients, our staff and their trade union representatives".

In a statement issued on Friday, he said: "The main purpose of this paper was to give the board some early indication of the potential challenges...to help us make an early start on planning our services for next year."

Mr Brown went on: "It is important to note that the discussion paper that has attracted media interest is not a definite proposal or an approved plan that the board intends to implement.

"None of the contents have been approved by the board or referred to the Scottish government for consideration.

"This includes the reported closure of Lightburn Hospital or changes to the services provided by the Vale of Leven Hospital."

Estimated figures

Mr Brown said that the financial information in the paper "were estimates" and "should not be seen as the final position".

He added: "In common with all the NHS boards in Scotland, we are in discussion with the Scottish government to finalise our budget allocation for the next financial year.

"Until those discussions are completed it is not possible to make definitive statements on the resources available to us.

"Once budget allocations have been agreed we will share that information with the public, our staff and their representatives."

Mr Brown said he expected to have final budget allocations to develop delivery plans for 2016/17 by the end of February.

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