24/7 Services Return to St John’s Children’s Ward
Local Linlithgow Constituency MSP Fiona Hyslop has welcomed the news that the Children’s Ward at St John’s Hospital will return to 24/7 operating hours on Mondays to Thursdays from March 2019 and all week from October 2019. The announcement was made by Jeane Freeman, Health Secretary in the Scottish Government during at statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon. (Tuesday, 29 January).
“I am delighted that the Scottish Government Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, has announced that St John’s Children’s Ward will return to 24/7 services Monday – Thursday from March and 7 days a week from October. Ms Freeman promised the Scottish Parliament and the people of West Lothian in September (2018) that she would update Parliament in January following a progress report she had asked NHS Lothian for which ensured that they were working towards the Royal College of Paediatrics and Children’s Health Report recommendations that a safe and sustainable 24/7 service be resumed.
“Knowing that 24/7 services will be resumed during the week in March and in full by October this year, will give the community and parents in my constituency peace of mind.
“I have always maintained the importance of fulfilling the recommendations of the RCPCH Report as their recommendations addressed the concerns and challenges that the West Lothian SNP Group highlighted to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Children’s Health in our full submission to them in January 2016.
“Although this has taken some time, safety of children and long-term sustainability of services has been paramount in the Board’s actions. I am aware that NHS Lothian remains committed to ‘over recruit’ where possible in order to build resilience and mitigate risks associated with the impact of staff sickness or other long term absence, which has prevented the ward remaining open 24/7 in the past.
“The staff at St John’s Hospital are first class and the children’s ward is held in high esteem by the local community. I very much welcome the commitment from the Health Secretary on the progress of the reinstatement of 24/7 children’s services at St John’s Hospital.”