Labour Hits Out At SNP Over Fears Of Hospital Axe

Labour has hit out at the SNP amid claims that the "axe is set to fall'' on a number of local hospital services.

A dossier from the party raises concerns over the future of maternity services at the Vale of Leven Hospital in Dunbartonshire and at Inverclyde Hospital in Greenock, along with children's services at Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley, and orthopaedics at Monklands hospital in Airdrie.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said these are "valued local services'' and that the Scottish Government has not approved proposals being made by Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Board.

But Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will press the Scottish Government on the NHS as she joins with campaigners outside the Royal Alexandra Hospital

Speaking ahead of that Ms Dugdale said: "Thousands of families depend on the help and support they get from their local hospitals.

"It would be completely unacceptable for the SNP to shrug their shoulders and look the other way.''

She claimed that in the run up to May's Holyrood election "The SNP promised to protect these services'' but added that following the vote "now those promises are set to be broken''.

Ms Dugdale said: "Before the election the SNP said Labour candidates were scaremongering for highlighting proposed closures, but now the Nationalists are silent as the axe is set to fall.

"We can't go on like this, it's not good enough for the SNP to say the NHS is safe when services across the country are facing cuts.''

Ms Robison stressed: "The Scottish Government has not approved the proposals considered by the board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

"This Government recognises that these are valued local services. NHS Greater and Glasgow has a record high budget this year of over £2 billion, which has increased by over 27% under this Government.''

The Health Secretary continued: "It was this Government that ended a decade of damaging uncertainty by approving the 'Vision for the Vale' of Leven Hospital in 2009 and we have been consistently clear that we see a bright future for the hospital.

"It was also this Government that rejected proposals to close Lightburn Hospital in 2011 because both patients and clinicians were consistently clear that the hospital provided high quality services that were greatly valued by the community. Any proposals that do not properly reflect these concerns will not be approved by this Government.''

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