North Berwick residents "left in the dark" over Edington Cottage Hospital closure says MSP Craig Hoy

MSP Craig Hoy has accused Scotland’s health secretary of “leaving communities in the dark” over the future of Edington Cottage Hospital.

By Rhoda Morrison
Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:45 pm

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The Tory MSP led a Members Business debate in Parliament after NHS Lothian extended the North Berwick hospital’s temporary closure for at least one more month.

In his speech, Mr Hoy accused Humza Yousaf of failing to outline the reasons behind the closure.

MSP Craig Hoy led the debate last week

He said: “The community council, the local area partnership and Friends of the Edington Hospital say that they have been left in the dark.

“Responses to their freedom of information requests are sketchy, redacted or still outstanding. They say that hard data is proving hard to find.”

He added that the voices of patients, who have repeatedly called for the hospital’s reopening since the shock closure in September, should be listened to.

“After the hospital closed, I took the decision to undertake a community survey to gauge the views of local residents,” said Mr Hoy.

“I secured the views of 1,929 people, 77 per cent of whom said that they had personal experience with the hospital. Of those who were surveyed, 97 per cent were opposed to the closure.

“The community voice is clear: they want the hospital services reopened.”

He also highlighted the views and experiences of local people, one of whom described the hospital as “our beating heart”.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Hoy said: “I was delighted to have the opportunity to lead this crucial debate in Parliament.

“Edington Cottage Hospital provides vital and top quality healthcare on our doorstep and the voices of local people cannot be ignored. I was determined to highlight their opposition in Parliament and make the SNP’s Health Secretary sit up and take note.

“Local communities have been left completely in the dark by Humza Yousaf over NHS Lothian’s decision. This temporary closure is threatening to become a so-called temporary one.

“Residents and users of the hospital cannot find any information behind the decision. That simply isn’t good enough and there must be a commitment to greater transparency now.

“This debate showed the strength of opposition to the Eddington Cottage Hospital remaining closed. I will not rest until services resume in North Berwick and local residents get an explanation from the health board’s decision-making.”

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