August 19, 2008

Health Board Backs Future of the Vale


HEALTH bosses have sought to distance themselves from a series of controversial cuts to services at a Scottish hospital, saying they are committed to the future of the site.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde today where the future of the Vale of Leven Hospital in Dunbartonshire will be discussed, Tom Divers, the health board's chief executive, said he wanted to maintain and potentially increase patient numbers at the Alexandria hospital and see new services introduced.

Last week, the health board carried out a U-turn when it announced that plans to axe two midwife-run birthing units at the Vale and Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock had been dropped in response to a critical report by an independent scrutiny panel At the health board's public annual review meeting, held yesterday in Glasgow with Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Divers said the board was exploring whether some services could be expanded at the hospital. These include additional dialysis capacity, dental health and specialisms including urology, rheumatology, and gastroenterology.

Mr Divers said the board would also consider making better use of the hospital's endoscopy services, which he said were "second to none".

The public commitment comes after services have been sliced one by one over the last six years from the Vale.

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

(c) 2008 Herald, The; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.