Fiona Hyslop MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency led a debate in the Scottish Parliament calling for St Michael’s Hospital to be retained and re-opened for the purpose it was intended on Wednesday 10th May. Fiona’s debate was selected for Member’s Business after it had received cross party support.
Fiona also took the time to commend and thank the hard work undertaken by the Friends of St. Michael’s over the years to support patients and their families, a number of whom were in the gallery to hear the debate.
Speaking after the debate, Fiona commented,
“I am pleased that this important debate was able to take place at the Scottish Parliament and want to thank MSPs across all parties who signed my motion allowing for it to happen. It is now clearer than ever that a health facility in the north of the county is vital for those requiring end of life, respite and step-down intermediary care.
“The site at St Michael’s Hospital was gifted by the Church to the Health Board in the 19th Century to be used as a health facility and there is a clear moral and potentially legal case for the land to be returned to the Church if it is not used by the Health Board for this purpose.
“I am pleased that the Minister recognised the need for individuals to be cared for close to home and the vital role, community hospitals such as St Michaels, play in ensuring this is possible. She also stated that her Officials will continue to engage with West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership and stand ready to support where appropriate.
“The strong spirit and solidarity of local people who support the retention of the hospital exists because of the extraordinary nature in which St Michael’s Hospital and the Friends of St Michael’s cared for their loved ones and their families.
“I hope that the passion and determination in each speech delivered this evening (Wed 10th) has been felt and is recognised by the IJB. This is not a matter that will be silently excluded from public debate. The people deserve a community-based elderly nursing care and respite in the north of the county, as was intended for the site.
“I also took the opportunity to raise my continuing concerns about the IJB’s other plans to outsource care at home and 6 other care of the elderly residencies in the future across the Lothians and while I understand that there are financial pressures across the public sector I suggested to the Minister that IJBs should be able to use their significant reserves to avoid drastic action such as this. “