Glasgow & West Scotland

Health board to consult on cuts as it seeks to save £69m

Lightburn Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption The consultation covers the possible closure of Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow

Scotland's largest health board is to consult the public on controversial proposals to close or cut down on some in-patient and maternity services.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde needs to save about £69m in the coming year.

Options include closing Lightburn Hospital and the birthing unit at Vale of Leven. Consultation begins next month with a decision due in December.

Scottish ministers have said they would not approve any plans that "do not properly reflect" local concerns.

The board has claimed that the proposals are motivated by the clinical need for change and would not in themselves save £69m.

Services 'evolving'

NHS GGC chairman John Brown said: "It is only right that the public have an opportunity to hear the clinical case for change and to have their views heard.

"We want to ensure that all affected, including those who have campaigned against change, are able to become fully involved in this process of service modernisation.

"Our services are continually evolving and improving. Whilst the proposals do signal change, it is important to stress that, in each instance we are planning to retain local services within local communities."

Other proposals which will be part of the consultation are ending in-patient care at the Centre for Integrative Care at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow.

Another is transferring some services for children at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley to Glasgow.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "No final decisions have been made on these proposals and the Scottish government has not approved the proposals considered by the board."

Ms Robison pointed out that the government had ended "damaging uncertainty" and secured services at the Vale of Leven back in 2009.

Public concerns

It had also rejected, she said, proposals to close Lightburn Hospital in 2011 "because both patients and clinicians were of the view that the hospital provided high quality services that were greatly valued by the community".

The health secretary added: "Any proposals that do not properly reflect these concerns will not be approved by this government."

Scottish Labour's health spokesman Anas Sarwar urged the government to "step in to stop cuts to local services in Glasgow and the west of Scotland".

He believed that to do anything else would be "unacceptable".

Mr Sarwar added: "The NHS in Greater Glasgow and Clyde is facing £69m worth of cuts under the SNP government and that is putting local services on the line."

In January, NHS GGC said a leaked paper outlining £60m of possible cuts was a "discussion paper" rather than an "approved plan".

Now that the health board has working proposals for savings, these will be put to consultation before a final decision.

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