QUESTIONS have been asked about why so many new mums are opting to give birth outside the Vale of Leven Hospital.
Gil Paterson MSP is seeking answers after Jackie Baillie MSP used proposals to move the ward by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) to attack the SNP.
Health chiefs at NHSGGC are in the process of consulting with the public over a proposal to move the maternity unit to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
An NHSGGC report 'Proposed Report for Changed Services' states how “the number of women opting to use those delivery services have continued to decline from the planned level of around 200 for each Unit. During 2015/16 there were only … 43 at VOL [Vale of Leven Hospital]”.
Mr Paterson was roped into the issue in July when Jackie Baillie demanded via the press he support her motion against the Scottish Government for a debate on the undecided NHS proposal.
Gil Paterson said: "The National Health Service Act (Scotland) 1978 section 2(5) clearly states where ministers would intervene in the mechanics of a health board’s decision-making. These are dire situations where health board officials defy the government or break regulations.
"An intrusion from Scottish ministers during the consultation to shift a ward is unfathomable but Jackie Baillie knows this fine well. And God forbid unqualified politicians start playing doctors and health professionals.
"On this particular maternity ward at Vale of Leven Hospital, projections expected 200 babies to be born in the area - but just 43 chose to have this delivery at the Vale of Leven Hospital in 2015/16. That would be one baby born every 8 days, and a whole maternity unit to back it up. What is going on here?
"The A&E was removed from Vale of Leven Hospital by Scottish Labour, when Jackie Baillie was a government minister. For this reason, there is no emergency care in case of complications during birth - this service is at Glasgow, where most mums go. This may explain the lack of deliveries there and why the health board wants to transfer it.
Jackie Baillie has attacked the SNP
"Jackie Baillie may want to review the facts, law and history before whipping up a party political debate to try smear her political enemies on vital, sensitive issue as the birth of babies.”
And here are a few figures on what the SNP has actually done for local health facilities:
On investment in NHSGGC:
Under this Government NHS Greater and Glasgow has a record high budget this year of over £2 billion, which has increased by over 27%.
In 2016/17, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s annual resource budget increased by 5.2% to a record high of £2,079.2 million - an above inflation increase, having previously increased by 2.7% in 2015/16.
Board receives £7.1 million (each year for 3 years from 2015/16) from the delayed discharge funding, announced by the Health Secretary on 20 January 2015
All Health Boards, including Glasgow & Clyde, are expected to make savings so to reinvest in their frontline services. £69 million in savings represents 3.3% of the Board’s resource budget for 2016/17.
Completed since May 2011
£21 million public capital - Vale of Leven Centre for Health and Care ( 2013)
£10.4 million public capital - Possilpark Health Centre (2013)
£18 million public capital- Glasgow Royal Infirmary University Tower Refurbishment (2013)
£842m pub capital – Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Children (opened
May 2015 – on time and budget)
£13.7 million - Maryhill Health Centre (2016)
£11 million – Eastwood Health and Care Centre (2016)
In progress (announced since May 2011)
£15 million - Gorbals Health Centre
£16 million - Woodside Health Centre
£38 million – New Health Centres for Greenock and Clydebank
A full transcript and video of Gil’s speech in the parliamentary debate on 13/9/16 is available on www.gilmsp.com.