NHS Greater Glasgow has a responsibility to ensure that the public are informed of the issues and pressures driving changes to the services we provide. We feel strongly that the biased, selective and, ultimately, misleading coverage of the review of maternity services by the Evening Times jeopardises fair debate and consideration of this complex and emotive issue.
For the Evening Times to argue that its reporting was accurate is not good enough – the fact that such reporting was buried among editorial and opinion pieces that grossly misrepresent the pre-consultation process we have in place convinced us we had a right to answer back. This is why we have chosen to e-mail a response to people who have contacted us because of the Evening Times' campaign.
In our response we have tried to make clear that:
· decision has been taken on the future of maternity services at this stage;NO
· October, any decision it makes concerning options for the way forward will be subject to 3 months of further consultation;stOnce the NHS Board meets on 21
· The suggestion made in the Evening Times that the future of maternity services will be determined by possible financial gain from a mythical property deal is an outrageous slur which has no basis in common sense let alone reality;
· The Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow clearly stated that the Royal Hospital for Sick Children will operate from Yorkhill site for at least the next 15 years – a fact that the Evening Times has not reported.
Greater Glasgow NHS Board
Tuesday 14 October 2003
Notes to Editors:
1) October 2003 Evidence concerning the future of maternity services in Greater Glasgow was presented to a special meeting of the Board of NHS Greater Glasgow held on 7
2) This evidence came from Greater Glasgow's midwives, users of maternity services (MATNET) and a Working Group chaired by professor Margaret Reid of the University of Glasgow which reviewed submissions from clinical experts and other stakeholders
3) October – if the Board agrees on a preferred set of options for the future of maternity services, these will subsequently be subject to a three-month process of consultation The next stage in the review process will be for the NHS Board to take a decision on the way forward at its meeting scheduled for 21
4) In the light of the campaign being run by the Evening Times concerning the review process, readers have been encouraged to write to, phone or e-mail Members of the NHS Board. In these circumstances, we felt it appropriate to reply to communications received (at this stage fewer than 100) with a rebuttal of the position taken by the Evening Times and the various correspondents it has engaged to the exclusion of fair and balanced coverage
5) hereYou can read the letter of response from our Chairman, Professor Sir John Arbuthnott and Chief Executive of Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Tom Divers by clicking on the link
For further information contact Jim Whyteside on 0141 201 4445.