Cheers to the Volunteers

March 9th, 2011

Cheers to the volunteers

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil and shadow health secretary Jackie Baillie said ‘cheers to the volunteers’ during a visit to Inverclyde Royal this week.

The local MSP introduced Ms Baillie to the Hospital League of Friends, the voluntary group who run the tea bar and raise thousands for the IRH.

Chairperson Jean Rees told the shadow health secretary about the local campaign that saved the tea bar last year when health bosses threatened to close it.

Mr McNeil has gained an assurance from Jackie Baillie that these voluntary groups will have her full support if she is Scotland’s health secretary after the May election.

Jackie Baillie, shadow health secretary said: “It was clear there was huge support for the volunteers at Inverclyde Royal when health bosses got it badly wrong last year and it was a reminder to us all the huge part they play in delivering the local services people want.

“Like all other parts of Scotland, Inverclyde faces a significant challenge in sustaining and even improving on the current standards of health provision at a time of spending cuts.

“But I am confident that we can retain a health service in Inverclyde that is both local and of high quality and I know that volunteers have big role to play in helping us to achieve that ambition.”

During her visit to Inverclyde, Jackie also met with the Inverclyde Elderly Forum and the Inverclyde Carers Centre to take questions on her plans for a National Care Service.

She also visited the oncology department at the hospital to discuss her proposals to cut cancer waiting times to just two weeks.

Duncan McNeil, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, said: “It is clear from our meetings today that people recognise in Jackie someone who will stand up for local services and ensure the most vulnerable get the best possible care.

“A National Care Service will tackle the challenges of our growing elderly population and ensure care is not compromised and people can have dignity in their old age.

“And the pledge to cut cancer waiting times will save lives by ensuring we get the earliest possible diagnosis and can begin treatment as soon as possible.”