Public meetings over health review set to take place

Opinions over a controversial review into NHS Lothian’s children’s services are being sought at a series of public meeting scheduled for early next month.

Patients, families, carers and staff are urged to go along and air their views over the overhaul of paediatric services at St John’s Hospital in Livingston and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

A total of eight public meetings have been arranged, with two taking place in Livingston, and the views gathered at the meetings will be taken into account by the review team at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Jim Crombie, Chief Officer of Acute Services, NHS Lothian, said: “I would encourage anyone who has opinions or suggestions around children’s inpatient services to come along to one of these meetings.

“We are particularly keen to hear the views of parents, carers and young people who have used the service in the last 18 months.”

Fiona Hyslop MSP urged the public to go along and have their say. She said: “The review team must understand the strength of feeling in West Lothian in support of our children’s ward and services being maintained on a 24/7 basis but also to have this backed up by facts, local experience and evidence in a rational manner and to avoid any unwarranted scare-mongering.

“It is important that local residents attend one of these public meetings to hear more about the review but also to voice their own concerns.

“The clinical support overnight at St John’s underpins maternity and special baby care services and the connection between provision makes a strong case to maintain overnight paediatric services in hospital.”

The meetings, at Howden Park Centre in Livingston, take place on Monday, March 7 at 6.30pm and Wednesday, March 9 at 2pm.