Jo and Ross Finnie MSP are dismayed by the Health Secretary’s continued refusal to intervene in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s plan to remove funding for 30 continuing care beds at St Margaret’s Hospice.
Jo and Ross wrote to the Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon in November asking her to intervene after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed its plans to remove funding for the 30 continuing care beds at St Margaret’s in 2013.
Commenting, Jo said:
“I am yet again deeply disappointed by the Health Secretary’s response to our calls for her intervention in this case. Although I laid out in my letter the reasons why leaving this decision up to the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is not acceptable in this case due to their failure to engage genuinely in negotiations, she appears to have ignored these arguments completely. One has to wonder whether she is really taking her responsibilities seriously.”
Commenting, Ross said:
“The Health Secretary has repeated her refusal to intervene in the dispute between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and St Margaret of Scotland Hospice and end the Board’s absurd plan to remove funding from St Margaret’s.
“The Cabinet Secretary apparently believes there is a constructive dialogue which will reflect the needs of the population but there is no evidence of any such constructive dialogue instead the Board continues to threaten the removal of funding.
“If the Health Secretary does not intervene NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will continue with their plans to waste public money creating 30 unnecessary continuing care beds at Blawarthill, whilst dumping an existing 30 continuing care beds at St Margaret’s.”
Included Below is a copy of the response sent by the Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon to Ross Finnie MSP
15th December 2009
Thank you for your letter of 30 November 2009 regarding the announcement on 27 November 2009 that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will proceed with its plan to cease funding of 30 continuing care beds at the St. Margaret of Scotland Hospice, Clydebank, with effect from early 2012. I recognise your interests in this matter and your ongoing commitment to achieving a resolution.
As I have explained previously, the provision of services for the population it serves is a matter for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – and this remains the case. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has indicated its wish for St. Margaret’s to provide it with alternative services, demonstrating the potential for ongoing engagement. Accordingly, it is my expectation that there will be constructive dialogue which will reflect the needs of the population served.
As noted in the correspondence which you provided, a number of options regarding future service provision are currently under consideration by the NHS Board’s MCN and which will be put to the board of St. Margaret’s to consider.
For these reasons I believe it not appropriate for me to intervene in this matter.