Hos­pi­tal treat­ment for kids ‘not ac­cept­able’

1000 sent to Ed­in­burgh

West Lothian Courier - - News - Sean O’Neil

Nearly 1000 kids have been trans­ferred from St John’s Hos­pi­tal in Liv­ingston to the Sick Kids in Ed­in­burgh since the chil­dren’s ward first closed to in­pa­tients.

Since July 2017, a to­tal of 859 chil­dren have been trans­ferred from St John’s Hos­pi­tal to the Royal Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren, 732 of whom re­quired to be ad­mit­ted.

How­ever a let­ter from Health Sec­re­tary Jeane Free­man to Loth­ian MSP Neil Find­lay re­vealed that, as of Septem­ber 24 2018, a to­tal of 954 kids have been trans­ferred to the Sick Kids since the trou­bled ward’s first three week clo­sure in 2012.

Of those trans­fers 790 have re­quired ad­mis­sion to an in­pa­tient bed and 164 chil­dren have been sent home.

Mr Find­lay, Labour MSP for Loth­ian said the fig­ures were “ut­terly un­ac­cept­able”.

He said: “By to­day it is likely that 1,000 chil­dren will have had to be sent to Ed­in­burgh for treat­ment be­cause of the SNP’s fail­ure on NHS staffing. That’s 1,000 fam­i­lies who have had to en­dure up to 60 miles of travel, stress, de­lays and ex­pense just to get their chil­dren treat­ment.

“That is ut­terly un­ac­cept­able – and still hap­pen­ing de­spite a com­mit­ment from the SNP Health Sec­re­tary Jeane Free­man that fully re­open­ing the ward was her high­est pri­or­ity.

“In­stead, fam­i­lies in West Loth­ian look set to have to en­dure at least 36 months of more clo­sures and fail­ures.

“Far too many fam­i­lies have had to travel past their lo­cal hos­pi­tal to Ed­in­burgh for treat­ment when they should have been treated in St John’s.”

Cross party politi­cians also con­demned the lat­est fig­ures.

An­gela Con­stance, SNP MSP for Al­mond Val­ley, said: “It is sim­ply not good enough that nearly 1000 West Loth­ian chil­dren have been trans­ferred into Ed­in­burgh in­stead of be­ing cared for lo­cally.

“I con­tinue to call on NHS Loth­ian to pick up the pace and re­turn our first class chil­dren’s ward to a 24/7 ser­vice.

“The Health Sec­re­tary has out­lined the progress with staff re­cruit­ment in her re­cent state­ment and will up­date Par­lia­ment in Jan­uary.

“I will be meet­ing the Health Sec­re­tary once again this month and will be ac­com­pa­nied by West Loth­ian par­ents who make a very pow­er­ful case as to why a 24/ 7 ser­vice is needed. The need for a 24/ 7 chil­dren’s ward is clear when you lis­ten to par­ents.”

Mi l e s Briggs, Con­ser­va­tive MSP for Loth­ian and Shadow Health Sec­re­tary, said: “Fam­i­lies in West Loth­ian are be­ing badly let down by the clo­sure of in­pa­tients ser­vices at St. Johns chil­dren’s ward.

“A Min­is­te­rial State­ment last month left us no clearer on when the St John’s chil­dren’s ward would re­sume a full 24/7 ser­vice.

“The SNP gov­ern­ment are not any fur­ther for­ward in re­open­ing the chil­dren’s ward at St John’s and the num­ber of chil­dren be­ing trans­ferred to the sick kids hos­pi­tal in Ed­in­burgh is go­ing to con­tinue to rise.”

Jacquie Camp­bell, chief of­fi­cer for Acute Ser­vice, NHS Loth­ian said pa­tient safety must al­ways be the top pri­or­ity.

She said: “We are com­mit­ted to in­creas­ing staffing lev­els and re­in­stat­ing the 24/ 7 pae­di­atric in­pa­tient ser­vice in St John’s Hos­pi­tal when it is safe and sus­tain­able to do so.

“On 26 Septem­ber 2018, we an­nounced that we had moved a step closer to re­in­stat­ing the pae­di­atric in­pa­tient ser­vice fol­low­ing the re­cruit­ment of three new trainee Ad­vanced Nurse Prac­ti­tion­ers (ANPs) to pae­di­atric ser­vices in Loth­ian.

“Our re­cruit­ment drive is ac­tive and on­go­ing and we have just ad­ver­tised two Con­sul­tants posts for St John’s Hos­pi­tal, as well as up to three Trained Ad­vanced Nurse Prac­ti­tioner (ANP) posts. The cre­ation of a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team of con­sul­tants, nurses and a greater num­ber of ANPs will help to achieve a safe and sus­tain­able staffing model.

“We as­sist with trans­port for any fam­ily who is trav­el­ling be­tween West Loth­ian and the Royal Hos­pi­tal for Sick Chil­dren, in­clud­ing sched­uled travel and taxis when needed.”


Keep­ing on Cam­paign­ers want to see the full ser­vice at St John’s chil­dren’s ward re­in­stated

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