St John’s paediatric ward re-opening delayed

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Jeane Freeman.

It has been announced today that full paediatric services at St John’s Hospital in Livingston will not re-open in October as planned.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (SNP) has this morning updated the Scottish Parliament.

She said: “Patient safety is always our main concern and I regret that, despite extensive recruitment efforts, the unanimous clinical view is that it is not possible to safely reinstate the full 24/7 service at St John’s in Livingston from October.

“The inpatient service, which re-opened in March between Mondays and Thursdays, will continue until full 24/7 services are reinstated.

”I fully appreciate this will be disappointing for local people but I’m sure everyone will understand the safety of patients must be our overriding priority.

“I remain absolutely committed to the full 24/7 reinstatement of the service and know that NHS Lothian will continue their recruitment efforts to make sure they can deliver on the clear commitments they have made to parents and children and the staff at St John’s.”

Commenting on today’s announcement Lothian List MSP Miles Briggs (Con) said: “It is hugely disappointing that the 24/7 paediatric service at St. John’s will not resume this October as scheduled and families in West Lothian will be rightly very angry.

“Hospitals across Scotland have a shortage of medical professional which leads to the closure of wards and waiting times increasing.

“The lack of workforce management by SNP Ministers over the last 12 years has been their single biggest failing running our health service.

“Retention of doctors and nurses is more important than ever which is why Scottish Conservatives have put forward a range of measures to look after those who look after us.”