The Board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has today taken a crucial step towards securing the long-term future for the Vale of Leven Hospital site.
The Board unanimously backed recommendations by health planners to retain the full range of services in the community midwifery units (CMUs) at the hospital and at the Inverclyde Royal Hospital for a three year period, in line with the recommendations of the Independent Scrutiny Panel. During this time, a full marketing campaign will be undertaken to increase awareness about the option of giving birth in the local midwife-led units.
Tom Divers, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “During a very engaging consultation, we heard clearly articulated local public opinion supporting the retention of the CMUs at both the Vale of Leven and Inverclyde Royal Hospitals. It was evident that the CMUs were held in high regard. Indeed, our own audit revealed that what local women wanted most was the ability to access local facilities for the birth of their child. A significant number were also keen to have the option of a midwife-led birth.
“We will now finalise plans to aggressively market the CMUs locally with the support of our local authority partners and clinicians.”
In a further boost to the hospital, the Board also deferred a decision on mental health services at the Vale and to take forward further work to see how these services may link to other services on the hospital site.
Proposals for mental health services in South Clyde were ratified. These plans see the development and improvement of mental health services across Renfrewshire and Inverclyde to increase the range of services, improve mental health accommodation and facilities and provide a number of additional new services, not previously available.
Tom Divers said: “These plans for South Clyde, which will now be put forward to the Cabinet Secretary for approval, see the development of community services, supported accommodation, residential care and home care services. This will offer a range of alternatives to inpatient care while still ensuring that high quality hospital services are available for those who need them.”
The Chief Executive also presented to the Board an outline of the key elements that will be rapidly brought together to create proposals for a long-term safe and sustainable vision for the future of the Vale of Leven site. In addition to the CMU and mental health services, these include proposals put forward by the expert Independent Review Panel for a new model of unscheduled care which would allow a significant number of patients to continue to get their care at the hospital whilst removing certain types of emergency care that gave the Board concern about patient safety.
The opportunity is also being taken to carry out an overhaul of the full range of specialist services to see whether additional services, not currently offered at the Vale, could be provided locally from that site. Specialties being considered include oral and dental health, scope for the creation of additional renal dialysis capacity plus outpatient, diagnostic and day care provision for urology, rheumatology and gastroenterology.
Tom Divers stated: “The Vale of Leven currently has more than 100,000 patient contacts every year. This Board is committed to continuing to provide a broad range of services which will ensure a similar number of patient contacts as at present.“
He added: “So often when we go out to consultation the focus is on what services we cannot sustain. The consultation we will bring forward for public scrutiny will be on the full range of services that we want to develop and deliver, backed with a programme of investment, from the Vale of Leven site.
“This work will also include proposals for a significant investment in a new purpose built Primary Care Centre on site costing in the region of £17million.”
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