CAMPAIGNERS opposed to the reduction of services at Vale of Leven Hospital hope to "embarrass" NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the Scottish Government next week- and persuade them to take action to secure its future.

The group are to stage a vigil next Friday, April 28 at the hospital and it will run for a full 24 hours, lasting from 8am on the Friday to 8am on Saturday, April 29.

Community groups, staff, patients and other members of the community are being encouraged to come along and show their support at next week's vigil.

Hospitalwatch chairman Jim Moohan is leading the campaign and this week he revealed how the show of support for the beleaguered hospital is designed to prompt a reaction from the health board and within the corridors of power at Holyrood.

Mr Moohan said: "This is the final effort by the communities of West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute to embarrass the health board and the Scottish Government and wake them from their complacency.

"Over the last 13 years services have been reduced at the hospital but the health board and Scottish government have only paid us lip service.

"There has been nothing from either of them in relation to capital investment, infrastructure and long term funding to secure the hospital's future.

"There's been a constant fear of closure and the health board and the government have done nothing to allay these fears.

"The time has come for this to stop. It must come to an end.

"Members of the community are welcome to come down for 10 to 15 minutes and join us at the vigil, then go about their daily business.

"This is really designed to embarrass the health board and government into action."

The hospital has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the last few weeks with the suspension of the GP Out of Hours service on four consecutive weekends.

There’s also the ongoing speculation about the future of the Community Maternity Unit (CMI).

And earlier this month eight patients were forced to have operations cancelled– after the heating went on the blink.

Then, in a new devastating development, The Reporter told how NHS GGC planned to slash the number of consultant sessions at a key service used by cancer patients at the hospital.

And in a further blow inside sources claimed the pharmacy department within the hospital was to close too.

However, in an open letter from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde chairman John Brown CBE, he stated that the Vale of Leven Hospital "does have a long term future" and would "continue to play an important part in the delivery of healthcare in Greater Glasgow and Clyde."

Jim Moohan added: "We ask for as much support as possible next week as we attempt to halt the erosion of services at Vale of Leven Hospital."