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December 07, 2006 1:07 PM

Proposals Set to Secure Future of Inverclyde and Paisley Hospitals

- Review recommends majority of services should be retained locally

New proposals published today are set to secure the long-term future of both Inverclyde Royal and Royal Alexandra Hospitals.

The proposals, developed following an extensive review of acute services across Inverclyde and Renfrewshire, recommend that the vast majority of hospital services should be retained locally.

These proposals differ significantly from plans put forward by the former NHS Argyll and Clyde Board that would have seen A&E and the majority of inpatient services at Inverclyde Royal Hospital transferred to Paisley.

Under the proposed new arrangements, which are now subject to public consultation, Inverclyde Royal Hospital would retain its A&E department and core inpatient services such as emergency medical receiving, trauma, orthopaedic and general surgery. This means that patients suffering from severe abdominal pains and breathing difficulties would continue to be taken to Inverclyde for treatment. Patients with trauma injuries and fractures, often as a result of car crashes or accidents in the home and workplace, would also continue to be taken by ambulance to Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

The proposals would also see A&E and core inpatient services retained at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. In addition, retaining the bulk of inpatient care at Inverclyde Royal Hospital would prevent large numbers of patients from having to transfer to Paisley, thus avoiding the need to further increase activity at an already busy hospital.

The changes proposed only affect a small number of specialist services such as vascular surgery and urology. The plan is to centralise inpatient care for these services within centres of excellence in either Paisley or Glasgow while maintaining local access for outpatient appointments and follow-up day care. This approach is in line with the recommendations of the Kerr Report 'Building a Health Service Fit for the Future' which recommends that specialist or complex care should be concentrated on fewer sites to improve patient care and reduce clinical risk.  These minor changes are only likely to affect around 500 patients per year at Inverclyde Royal Hospital and less than 900 patients per year at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. This represents around 0.3% of total activity and less than 2% of all hospital admissions at both hospitals in comparison with the 37,000 patients at Inverclyde Royal Hospital (25% of total activity) who would have been affected if the original proposal to transfer A&E and all inpatient care from Inverclyde to Paisley had gone ahead.

Dr Liz Jordan, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's Associate Medical Director for Clyde, said: "These new proposals will safeguard the long term future of both hospitals and end many years of uncertainty for local patients and staff.

"They also demonstrate that we have listened and taken on board the views and concerns expressed by local community and patient representatives from Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire and Argyll and Bute."

Professor Sir John Arbuthnott, Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: "When we took over responsibility for health services in Clyde earlier this year we made a commitment that we would take a fresh look at the previous clinical strategy.

"We knew that local people and frontline staff did not want to see core services removed from Inverclyde nor did they want to see additional pressures placed on existing A&E and inpatient wards at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

"We have therefore come up with a solution which will retain the vast majority of core hospital services locally and ensure that the small number of patients who need specialist inpatient care are treated in centres of excellence, in line with the recommendations of the Kerr Report."

Professor David Kerr, said: "I am delighted with this solution which NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has found to deliver high quality clinical care for the folk of Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Argyll and Bute.

"This is entirely consistent with the central tenet of my report to keep relevant services as local as possible and specialised when necessary seeking always to drive up standards across the whole health community."

While this consultation focuses on core hospital services in South Clyde, work is also underway to review acute hospital services in North Clyde. This will be carried out as part of a wider review of health needs and services across West Dunbartonshire.

Work is also underway to review a number of health services across Clyde including mental health and maternity services and a separate review is underway to examine older people's care and services at Johnstone Hospital.

It is important that any proposed changes arising from the service reviews are implemented as soon as possible to help tackle the annual £30m funding gap for services within the Clyde area and achieve financial balance by the end of 2008/09.

Notes to Editors

1. The consultation was launched on 8th December 2006 and will carry on to 2nd February 2007.

2. A summary leaflet and copies of the full consultation paper will be widely distributed widely to local community groups, patient organisations and key stakeholders. Copies of the summary leaflet will also be sent to GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospital waiting areas and local libraries.

3. Anyone who wants a copy of the leaflet for full consultation paper can either download it from the website ( or call 0141 201 4957 during office hours.

4. There are plans to hold a number of public workshop events during the consultation period. For further details please contact 0141 201 4957 during office hours or visit our website

5.  A number of patient focus groups will also be held for each of the individual specialties. 

6. Anyone who wishes to make a submission to the consultation can do so by writing to:

John Hamilton
Head of Board Administration
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Dalian House
350 St Vincent Street
Glasgow G3 8YZ

Or e-mail: [email protected]


For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.

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Last Updated: 11 November 2021