Yesterday, the health board made a decision on the establishment of a major trauma unit at the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow. In addition, they also decided that the RAH in Paisley would be a trauma unit. That means, if this plan goes ahead, that Inverclyde Royal A&E will now deal with fewer trauma cases. This is a concerning downgrade of emergency services at the hospital with no public consultation.

This morning, I wrote to the Health Board Chief Executive and the Health Secretary regarding these changes. My letter is below.

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To: Jane Grant, Chief Executive, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board
CC: Jeane Freeman, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport

Dear Jane,

I write following the Health Board’s decision regarding the creation of a major trauma unit at QEUH and trauma unit at RAH. While the establishment of the major trauma network across Scotland is welcome, it is disappointing that this is being pursued at the expense of services at Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

The news that the Accident and Emergency at IRH will no longer deal with as many trauma cases will raise concerns about the A&E as a whole and other services at the hospital. It will also be concerning to people, as discussions about other services are ongoing, that Inverclyde will once again lose services to Paisley. I would be grateful for responses to the following questions:

1. How was the decision reached to locate the trauma unit at RAH and what analysis was conducted about the merits of RAH versus IRH?

2. Ambulance services are currently under significant pressure in Inverclyde. The current proposal will see more patients being transported between Inverclyde and Paisley or Glasgow. What consultation has taken place with the Scottish Ambulance Service regarding this?

3. What assessment was made of the impact of having fewer surgical trauma cases at IRH. Has the health board conducted an impact assessment of the effect this may have on the ability to recruit surgeons at IRH?

4. Given the downgrading of accident and emergency at Inverclyde Royal, can you guarantee the future of the accident and emergency service at Inverclyde Royal Hospital as a 24/7 service?

5. Can you explain why participants at the Moving Forward Together consultation event in Greenock in March were told there were no plans for specific service changes? Unless this proposal was developed in three months, this must have been under discussion while the consultation event was taking place. Do you agree with me that this constitutes a major service change and should, therefore, be subject to full public consultation?

I am copying this letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and, due to the public interest, will be releasing it to the media.

Yours sincerely

Martin McCluskey
Labour Candidate for Inverclyde

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