Local Maternity Unit
Monday 16th April 2012
Having a local maternity unit means a great deal to our community, and the strength of feeling has been reflected over the years in the petitions, the marches, the letters to the local paper and support from politicians on all sides of the political spectrum.
And it was with no great surprise that when NHS, Greater, Glasgow and Clyde’s latest plans to close the unit were let out of the bag, they were met with public anger.
It is clear to the community that the withdrawal of the midwifery unit has more to do with saving money than it is about improving the quality of service.
We now understand that the Board planned to push through these plans without consulting local people.
Recently in Parliament Nicola Sturgeon conceded that there will be a full three month statutory consultation with public meetings.
While I welcome Nicola Sturgeon’s concession, it is vital that we get the process right to ensure that the voice of the local community is heard.
The Health Secretary’s definition of a ‘full public consultation’ must match the expectations of the local community.
And the Boards final submission to the Cabinet Secretary on the future of the maternity unit, must fairly and accurately reflect their concerns.
In the end it will be the Cabinet Secretary that will make the final decision, not the Board.
And given the fact that she has given her backing to maternity services in the Vale of Leven and local services in Lightburn, I would expect the same level of support for our own local service from the Cabinet Secretary.