During an exchange at Holyrood this week Angela Constance MSP, who has campaigned tirelessly to have a 24/7 service reinstated at the children's ward at St John's Hospital, outlined her own and her constituents' disappointment that the children's ward would not return this month, as had been planned, to a 24/7 in-patient service, not least because parents face yet another winter travelling to Edinburgh sick kids with their wee ones at the weekend.
The MSP stated " asked the Health Secretary to meet with parents who use the service to listen to their concerns on a face to face basis. I also sought an assurance that additional services would be considered, as well as the reinstatement of the 24/7 service. I further questioned whether the Scottish Government agree that we have a first class much loved children's ward that providing more services in West Lothian could not only help anchor a 24/7 service at St John's, but also benefit the region as a whole"
In response, Jeane Freeman MSP was able to provide an assurance that she would meet with parents to listen to their concerns. The Health Secretary repeated her commitment to a 24/7 service to the children's ward, and continues to actively support the Board's efforts to achieve that, admitting she is well aware of the population growth in the area that St John's serves and recognises there are many families with young children, adding "I fully expect NHS Lothian to consider the Lothian-wide delivery of paediatric services in hospital and in the community, and that means giving active consideration to the design and delivery of services. I have asked the chief medical officer to engage directly with NHS Lothian on that and to look across the entire estate at how, not just for this winter and the coming months but in the longer term, we can make sure that both areas of the estate are actively and properly resourced and used to meet the needs of the populations they serve"
Details of the exchange at question time can be viewed here -
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