Public meeting called over GP service cuts at Vale hospital

MSP Jackie Baillie is supporting Hospitalwatch to organise public meetings about proposals to cut GP out-of-hours services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

Local GPs and representatives of the Hospitalwatch campaign group will share their concerns with the community at two events in Helensburgh and Alexandria.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has proposed closing down the service at the Vale of Leven Hospital on Monday to Friday evenings, forcing local patients to travel to Paisley for emergency GP appointments.

The proposal follows months of sporadic closures at the Vale due to a shortage of GPs.

Jackie Baillie said: “People across Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond are rightly concerned about the proposals to centralise GP out-of-hours services in Paisley during the week.

“Local GPs have already condemned the move as an ‘unacceptable clinical risk’ and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde must listen to them.

“Given the complete lack of public consultation so far, I hope these public meetings will give the local community the chance to come together and oppose this latest threat to services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

“You don’t need to register in advance but it would help us plan for the event by calling my office on 01389 734214 or emailing”

A meeting will be held in Helensburgh Parish Church, Small Church Hall, Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, on Monday July 3 at 7.30pm.

Jim Moohan, chair of the Hospitalwatch campaign, said: “This is a really important meeting and the fact that GPs are now becoming directly involved to support the campaign is quite significant.

“The health board and the Health Secretary have ignored the local community in the past but they cannot ignore the voice of local doctors. I hope as many people as possible will come along to the meetings to support our local GPs and stand up for the services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.”