Pa­tients urged to stay lo­cal at Vale

Travel to clin­ics sparks con­cern

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Marc McLean

Pa­tients should in­sist on re­ceiv­ing non-emer­gency treat­ment at Vale of Leven Hospi­tal.

That is the cry this week from Hospi­tal­watch cam­paign­ers who are con­cerned that too many Vale of Leven and Dum­bar­ton res­i­dents are be­ing forced to travel fur­ther afield un­nec­es­sar­ily for out­pa­tient ap­point­ments.

The Vale Hospi­tal de­liv­ers a host of day clin­ics in ar­eas in­clud­ing haema­tol­ogy, gy­nae­col­ogy, re­nal, di­a­betes and on­col­ogy.

How­ever, cam­paign group Hospi­tal­watch claim that th­ese are be­ing by­passed and some pa­tients are be­ing sent to Pais­ley, Glas­gow and In­ver­clyde for treat­ment in­stead.

Jim Moohan, chair­man of Hospi­tal­watch, de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as “wor­ry­ing” and en­cour­aged peo­ple to make a stand for lo­cal treat­ment.

He said: “I would ad­vise lo­cal res­i­dents to ask to be di­rected to the Vale of Leven Hospi­tal.

“They have got a right of choice and, when speak­ing to their GP or con­sul­tant, they can in­sist on be­ing treated lo­cally where pos­si­ble.

“My wife’s daugh­ter trav­elled to In­ver­clyde and the con­sul­tant asked her, ‘why are you not go­ing down to Alexan­dria?’

“I was speak­ing to some­one re­cently who was in Pais­ley and the ward was filled with peo­ple from the Vale area.

“We’ve heard of other sim­i­lar cases, it’s hap­pen­ing on a more reg­u­lar ba­sis - which un­der­mines the ser­vices we have at Vale of Leven Hospi­tal.”

A col­lec­tion of clin­ics op­er­ate at the hospi­tal, along­side the med­i­cal as­sess­ment/mi­nor in­juries unit, un­der threat ma­ter­nity ser­vices and el­derly block.

Dur­ing a debate on the Vale of Leven Hospi­tal last month, SNP pub­lic health min­is­ter Aileen Camp­bell said that pa­tient ac­tiv­ity had in­creased by 36 per­cent since 2009/10.

Jim Moohan said: “The feedback we’ve been get­ting the past few weeks is that th­ese clin­ics are not be­ing used as much as they should be.

“It’s con­cern­ing, es­pe­cially if it’s to paint a pic­ture that the Vale clin­ics are not be­ing used as they should, or if the health board play­ing around with hospi­tal ap­point­ments to re­duce wait­ing times.”

A spokes­woman for NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde said: “Pa­tients are of­fered the first avail­able ap­point­ment at any one of our hos­pi­tals within the na­tional Treat­ment Time Guar­an­tee (TTG). They can de­cline this of­fer and re­quest a spe­cific hospi­tal.

“Whilst pa­tients do have the right to spec­ify the hospi­tal they wish to at­tend for their pro­ce­dure, they are ad­vised that in do­ing so they may not re­ceive their pro­ce­dure within the na­tional wait­ing times guar­an­tee. This is na­tional reg­u­la­tions which are ap­plied across the whole of the NHS in Scot­land.

“There are a wide range of sur­gi­cal and med­i­cal out­pa­tient clin­ics at the hospi­tal and no plans to re­duce or re­move th­ese.”

The num­ber of pa­tients at­tend­ing out­pa­tient clin­ics at the Vale of Leven Hospi­tal re­mains con­sis­tent year on year.

Mean­while, Jim Moohan and fel­low Hospi­tal­watch mem­bers Mick Conroy and Michael Mulk­ern staged a de­mon­stra­tion out­side the SNP con­fer­ence at Glas­gow’s SECC on Satur­day.

The trio made their feel­ings known at the SECC with ‘Vale of Leven Hospi­tal Save Our Ser­vices’ ban­ners and lob­bied SNP MSPs and party mem­bers as they walked through the doors.

Jim said: “It was only a small del­e­ga­tion of cam­paign­ers but we spoke with SNP party mem­bers and some were un­aware of the state of the hospi­tal or that so few ser­vices are left.

“Oth­ers were busy blam­ing Jackie Bail­lie and the Labour party for com­menc­ing with the de­struc­tion of the hospi­tal.

“We know Labour are also at fault but all po­lit­i­cal par­ties need to stand to­gether as one and give a com­mit­ment to the com­mu­nity on the fu­ture of the Vale Hospi­tal.”

Clin­ics not be­ing used as much as they should Jim Moohan

Hospi­tal­watch JIm Moohan is con­cerned that too many Vale of Leven and Dum­bar­ton res­i­dents are be­ing forced to travel un­nec­es­sar­ily for ap­point­ments 200616JIM_MOOHAN_04

Cam­paign Hospi­tal­watch want lo­cal peo­ple to take a stand

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