Labour to “call-in” health board proposals in Holyrood debate

Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandra is one of the hospitals to be discussed. Picture by Donald MacLeod
Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandra is one of the hospitals to be discussed. Picture by Donald MacLeod
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Labour is to use a Holyrood debate to urge Scottish ministers to “call-in” health board proposals for changes to services.

The party will force a vote on protecting local NHS services and call for the backing of SNP MSPs who represent communities that would be affected.

Labour's party health spokesman Anas Sarwar. Picture; John Devlin

Labour's party health spokesman Anas Sarwar. Picture; John Devlin

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The Labour motion says maternity services at the Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria and Inverclyde Hospital in Greenock, paediatric services at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and trauma orthopaedics at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie are all at risk.

It also raises concern over inpatient services at the Centre for Integrated Care in Glasgow, cleft palate services at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and the closure of Glasgow’s Lightburn Hospital.

Labour argues that Health Secretary Shona Robison could call-in proposals for downgrading or closure of services from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Lothian by deeming them “major service changes” requiring ministerial approval.

The party’s health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: “Labour is making a simple proposal today - the SNP Government should call in all of these proposals and then reject each and every one.

“Our NHS staff are facing ever-increasing stress whilst services face the axe. We have to do something. These cuts will have a direct impact on them and on patient care.

“It would be completely unacceptable for the SNP Government to sit back and watch vital local services be hit with cuts, closures or downgrades. Especially when the SNP promised these services would be safe before the election.

“Labour will give an opportunity to SNP MSPs to put their communities first. MSPs are sent to the Scottish Parliament to stand up for their constituents - it’s time to do it.”