MSP accuses Government of arrogance over St John’s statement

MSP Neil Findlay is not happy with the Government
MSP Neil Findlay is not happy with the Government

An MSP has accused the Scottish Government of arrogance after refusing to give a ministerial statement on a contentious report into health care.

Children’s services at St John’s Hospital in Livingston are currently under review but Labour MSP Neil Findlay has accused the Government of “kicking it into the long grass” after it was revealed the results would not be made public until after the Scottish elections.

He asked Health Minister Shona Robison to give an official update in the chamber at Holyrood and to allow MSPs to ask her questions directly on the subject, but the request was dismissed leading to claims of arrogance from the Lothians MSP.

The Government said it would be wrong to “pre-empt” results of the review into paediatric services at NHS Lothian.

It is currently being carried out by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and there are fears it could lead to a closure or downgrading of services at St John’s.

The request for a ministerial statement was made through the parliament’s cross-party business bureau but the reply from an aide to the Minister for Parliamentary Business, Joe Fitzpatrick, said: “I have sought the view of ministers, who consider the outcome of this independent review must not be pre–empted and it would be wrong to speculate on what the review may suggest.”

It added that any permanent changes would come after a public consultation.

However, Mr Findlay said: “This is absolutely shocking arrogance from the SNP Government.

“They are trying to hide the truth about the future of the ward by kicking it into the long grass after the election and don’t have the respect for staff, patients and families to answers questions about the timing of the review.

“There are serious questions about why this report has been delayed and Shona Robison should come before parliament to answer them.”