Lothian's hospital children's services 'in chaos'

CHILDREN’S hospital services in Lothian are in chaos, Labour MSP Neil Findlay has claimed after it was announced the paediatric ward at St John’s Hospital, Livingston, will not return to 24/7 opening this month as planned.

Sunday, 29th September 2019, 4:53 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th September 2019, 5:00 pm
Neil Findlay says the Scottish Government and NHS Lothian are reneging on their 24/7 opening commitment over St John's children's ward

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said on Friday that ongoing staffing problems meant it was not yet possible for the ward to move safely to full-time operation.

The news came on top of the delay in opening Edinburgh’s new Sick Kids hospital - which had been planned for early July but is now scheduled for autumn next year. Ms Freeman has ordered a public inquiry into the problems with the hospital.

Mr Findlay said: “Hospital children’s services in Lothian are in complete chaos.

“We have a new hospital costing £1.4 million a month that has no patients and is subject to a public inquiry.

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“And now we have the Scottish Government and NHS Lothian reneging on commitments given to open St John’s children’s ward on a 24/7 basis from October.

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24/7 re-opening of children's ward at St John's Hospital Livingston called off

“Every time we hear about children’s services in Lothian there is another delay, hold up or crisis.”

The children’s ward at St John’s was shut for 18 months due to staffing pressures but reopened four nights a week in March.

New staff have been recruited but others have left. The Scottish Government and NHS Lothian both say they are committed to 24/7 opening.