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Children's ward at Royal Alexandra Hospital set to close

The health minister has approved the local NHS board's plans on Friday.

Closed: Paediatrics patients will now be treated in Glasgow.
Closed: Paediatrics patients will now be treated in Glasgow. SWNS

The children's ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital is due to close, the health secretary has confirmed.

Shona Robison gave her approval to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's plans to transfer inpatient and day case paediatric patients from the Paisley hospital to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

The minister, however, rejected the health board's proposal to close Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow.

Robison said she persuaded to close the ward due to "overwhelming clinical support" for the move.

She said: "I know the service many families have received from Ward 15 at the Royal Alexandra Hospital has been highly valued, which is why I have approved these proposals on two conditions-that the health board must maintain and continue to improve community based paediatric services and maximise local provision, and that they must work directly with families from the Paisley area on specific, individual treatment/service access plans.

"These provisions will ensure that there is a full understanding of what services and support will be available to local families and from where."

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1393033-royal-hospital-for-children-ward-closes-over-lack-of-staff/ | default

Saving the ward in Paisley has been a long running campaign, with the First Minister being questioned over the matter during a BBC television debate ahead of the 2016 Holyrood election.

Speaking then, Nicola Sturgeon said: "I can absolutely give a commitment that we will keep services as local as they need to be."

After she was heckled, the First Minister added: "There is [sic] no proposals to close that particular ward. I believe in local services for local people."

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Bibby, whose regional seat includes Paisley, said his constituents has been "stabbed in the back" by the SNP.

He said: "Thousands of local people have said loudly and clearly that they want to children's ward to be protected.

"The SNP government had a choice-to listen to local families or to ignore them and they have chosen to completely ignore the views and wishes of local families."

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