LAST week saw the start of a comprehensive evidence gathering process that will help determine which of Glasgow's maternity hospitals will close.
The Modernising Maternity Services Working Group, chaired by Professor Margaret Reid, has been listening to detailed submissions from interested parties on the proposals.
Staff from both hospitals, former patients and representatives from the Health Council have been among those who have put forward their evidence.
So far six sessions for evidence gathering have taken place with a further four scheduled for next week to hear evidence from clinicians.
Other input to the process came via a seminar event for midwives and a separate event for representatives of Greater Glasgow's maternity networks (users of the services).
Apart from local clinical evidence an independent expert team of clinicians from south of the border has also visited Glasgow's maternity hospitals and offered evidence as to the best way forward for the safety of mothers and babies who will use our services in the future.
Professor Reid said: "This first part of the process has been going well. We've been very pleased with the response so far. This has included hearing from different staff from two of the three maternity hospitals, from MSPs and former patients have also taken the time to come and present their evidence."
During September the Professor Reid and her colleagues on the group will evaluate the evidence and present their recommendations to the NHS Board at a public meeting in Maryhill Community Centre on October 7.
The NHS Board plan to announce a preferred option later that month - after considering the evidence provided from the Working Group and other factors including financial implications - at its regular Board meeting and take the proposal forward for full public consultation before a final decision in January.
* Dates, times and venues for next week's evidence gathering meetings are as follows:
Aug 26, 2003 5pm-8pm, Boardroom, Dalian House
Aug 27, 2003 5pm –8pm, Boardroom, Dalian House
Aug 28, 2003 9am –12 noon, Link Corridor, Mitchell Library
1pm –4pm, Link Corridor, Mitchell Library
These meetings are open to any member of the public who would like to come along and observe. Information or to reserve a place: Gillian Duncan, NHS Greater Glasgow, Dalian House, 350 St Vincent St, Glasgow, G3 8YZ (tel: 0141 201 4614, email: [email protected]).ENDS
Information: Dawn Nelson on 0141 201 4912 or [email protected]