Maternity closure was already considered
Plans to shut theVale of Leven Hospital’s maternity unit were first drawn up by health bosses six years ago.
A document obtained by Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie under Freedom of Information legislation outlines that the birthing service was in the firing line in 2011.
But health bosses have been frank in confirming that there have been proposals to switch local births to Paisley in the past.
Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie, who supports the Lennox Herald’s Save Our Services campaign, said:“No wonder the health board stopped trying to promote theVale service in 2011. It looks like they have simply waited for birth numbers to fall even lower so they can make a better argument for centralising the service.
“This is a much-valued service at the Vale of Leven Hospital and we need a renewed commitment to the promises made to increase birth numbers with a high-profile marketing campaign.”
The consultation over the current birthing unit closure plans will be considered by the health board during their May meeting.
The final decision, however, on shutting the unit will be taken by health secretary Shona Robison as she deemed it to be a major service change.
A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde told the Lennox Herald yesterday (Tuesday) that the health board has made“no secret”of proposals to transfer births from the Vale Hospital to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.
She added: ”We have consulted on these proposals on three separate occasions. Since the beginning of January there have only been three births at theVale of Leven community midwife unit (CMU).
“Most women who choose to have a midwife delivered birth attend the Royal Alexandra CMU which provides the reassurance that there are medical and neonatal services on site.
“We have already made clear the majority of ante-natal and post-natal support will continue to be provided locally by the dedicated clinics provided by community midwives.”