Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to block the proposed closure of Lightburn Hospital.
The proposal to close the hospital was endorsed by Labour in Glasgow City Council earlier this year but has now been overturned by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon MSP.
In answer to a parliamentary question from Mr Yousaf, Ms Sturgeon confirmed her decision:
“I am rejecting NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s proposal to transfer the inpatient and outpatient/day case services from Lightburn Hospital, and the request to close the facility; and have asked that the Board now works to maintain and improve the quality of the service delivered from the hospital, in the best interests of local people.”
Commenting on her decision to keep Lightburn Hospital open, Ms Sturgeon said:
“I have carefully considered all the available information and representations and, on balance, am not convinced by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s case for change.
“The Government has a policy of maintaining local access to healthcare services where it is appropriate to do so, and where it is in patient’s best interests. It is my view that local people’s interests are best served by maintaining Lightburn Hospital and its healthcare services.
“I have repeatedly heard – not least from local patients and clinicians – that Lightburn Hospital provides high quality services that are greatly valued by what is a significantly disadvantaged community. I also had to consider the real issues around the adequacy and availability of local public transport links, which local people may have used to access the proposed alternative hospital sites.
“It is the case that hospital services are not static and need to change and in that context this has been a difficult decision. In this particular case, I am not convinced by the Board’s proposal for change, and am persuaded by the argument for maintaining local access to what is clearly regarded as valuable and high quality local facility.
“I have therefore asked that the Health Board now works to maintain and improve the quality of the service delivered from Lightburn Hospital, in the best interests of local people.”
Commenting on the decision, Humza Yousaf said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government has decided to keep Lightburn Hospital open.
“From a petition signed by 14,000 people to a number of well attended marches and rallies, the Save Lightburn Hospital campaign group, led by the East Glasgow Parkinson’s Support group, has been well organised and this decision is a testament to their hard work.
“There were real concerns that if Lightburn Hospital closed some of the most vulnerable people in our community would suffer. This decision to keep Lightburn Hospital open confirms that the Scottish Government cares passionately about keeping health care local.
“I congratulate all those who took part in the campaign the fruits of their hard work have certainly paid off.”
SNP MSP James Dornan added: “I welcome this decision. As a councillor I tried to stop Glasgow City Council backing this closure and it was deeply disappointing that they supported the plans.
“Nicola Sturgeon’s decision will be welcomed by all those who use the hospital and is a sign of the Scottish Government’s commitment to local healthcare.”