Baillie calls for rethink as village clinics for child immunisations are cut

Health chiefs have been urged to think again on plans to end child immunisation clinics in village GP surgeries.

Parents will have to take their children into a centralised facility Helensburgh from next week – a round trip of up to 36 miles.

The end of clinics in Garelochhead, Arrochar and Kilcreggan was defended by Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership as ‘increasing flexibility and choice’.

But this week local MSP Jackie Baillie called for a rethink.

“I discussed the changes with local doctors on a recent visit to the Kilcreggan Surgery and it is clear that families in Lomond North are concerned about the decision to scrap the locally provided immunisation service,” she said.

“The provision of local child health clinics is of vital importance to semi-rural communities and centralising the service in Helensburgh will have an unfortunate impact on parents with small children, especially those who will be forced to rely on inadequate public transport links.

“This is a backwards step from the Health and Social Care Partnership at a time when we should be investing in local services to halt population decline and attract young families to live on the peninsula.

“I would urge the Health and Social Care Partnership to think again and ensure that immunisations are provided locally.”

The immunisations will now be provided in the medical centre on East King Street in Helensburgh.