Open letter to John Brown CBE, chairman of NHS GGC

I WRITE to your good office on behalf of Hospitalwatch and the communities of West Dunbartonshire and Argyll requesting a meeting to discuss the future of our hospital going forward.

I have written to the Health Secretary on three occasions seeking answers so that we in turn can feedback to the communities to allay their everyday fears and concerns for their families, friends and relatives.

Unfortunately the same reply is received ‘we have a positive future.’That Mr Brown will not stand up to close scrutiny without qualification on Capital Investment, Infrastructure, Skills and Services.

The Vale of Leven Hospital is now a shell of its former self and functioning under a cloud of uncertainty.

It is absolutely clear that in due course we shall reach a stage of non viability to the public purse under the present strategy of centralisation.

The present crisis within the Out of Hours GP Services has created anger with the people in this area.

In their view there is a clear strategy to undermine that service.

I touch on an issue which happens on a regular basis how possibly can that Service operate in an efficient manner on behalf of the patient when they are received and diagnosed by the GP to be given antibiotics or some other medication they then have to travel on a 20 mile plus round trip either to Glasgow or Paisley to a pharmacy to receive that medication.

It is completely absurd and in the view of the Communities deliberate as part of an aim to collapse the Service.

That GP Service is a backbone of hands-on medical expertise in time of need within local reach.

With respect to the problem with recruitment of GPs it is for management to deal with this and highlights a failure regarding proper monitoring of the ‘Vision for the Vale.’

The potential result being that the service could be deemed clinically unsafe and a direct threat to the hospital’s future.

The ‘Vision for the Vale’ whilst good at the time is now shredded and inefficient.

We recently held a 24 hour vigil which resulted in a bed sheet being signed by over 5,000 people young, old, disabled and to their credit hospital staff who work under a cloud of fear and uncertainty. That effort was completely ignored by the Heath Secretary and sadly by the Health Board.

It is unacceptable that it may well take a tragic consequence to occur before we have answers to our concerns, that Mr Brown could happen God forbid.

There is a moral obligation and duty on the Health Board to give answers and a strategy for our future life care going forward.

We place our trust in your good office to cease the disruption of our hospital on behalf of the geographically widespread population of 100,000.

I can advise that Community meetings held in Alexandria and Helensburgh on 26th June and 3rd July 2017 are demanding immediate action and answers from the Health Board and the Scottish Government and not to be left waiting under the disguise of formal consultation.

Our first request on behalf of these Communities is to meet with your office at your earliest convenience to take this matter forward.

Jim Moohan, Hospitalwatch chairman

WE, the Friends of Drumkinnon Woods are looking for some support.

We believe that Flamingo Land have put in an application for land from the Woodbank Hotel through the woods and down to Sweeney's boatyard, including, we believe the Tourist Information Centre.

Now this will dramatically affect our environment, but as yet there has been no consultation with the public, though there has been an online petition opposing it signed by over 30,000 people.

There seems to be an awful lot of work going on which might signify that Flamingo Land are confident of gaining planning permission for this development, and while it has been suggested that we wait and see the plans, we don't want this to be another pretend consultation, while the deal is actually agreed.

If you too are concerned about this, have any further information about the plans, please contact us via our Facebook page.

Friends of Drumkinnon Woods, via e-mail.

WHAT a well attended public meeting on July 3 in Helensburgh about the proposed cuts to the GP Out of Hours service at the Vale of Leven!

People do not just become unwell during working hours. So we must fight to keep the Out of Hours service in the local hospital at the Vale of Leven. There is a real worry that the extra time taken going to Paisley could cause a poorer outcome or even possibly loss of life in some cases.

People without transport could be put off going when they really need to.

As our GPs feel they need to speak out against the closures and moving of services surely we should give them our support.

D. Lonnen, Helensburgh.

ALMOST half (47 per cent) of people in Scotland don’t venture outside of their comfort zones and fear that one day they might live to regret it.

That’s according to new statistics released by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), who are encouraging people in Scotland to do something out of their ordinary routines and organise a fundraiser to help make a difference to the millions of people living with cardiovascular disease.

A new survey by the BHF reveals that we are creatures of habit in the UK, tending to stick to our daily routines and playing it safe when it comes to trying new things.

The BHF is encouraging the public to break out of their comfort zones and arrange a fundraiser to help raise vital funds for life saving heart research.

The poll showed that more than half (56 per cent) of people in Scotland stick to the same routine day in, day out and more than a quarter (26 per cent) can’t remember the last time they tried something new or stepped out of their comfort zone.

Another quarter (24 per cent) said it has been more than a year since they did.

Almost a third (32 per cent) said they never act impulsively and two in five (40 per cent) said they wouldn’t be described as an adventurous person.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) said that their daily routine has left them feeling stuck in a rut.

For some, even leaving their own city or county, or trying a new style of clothes, was too far out of their comfort zones.

Despite this, over two thirds (67 per cent) of those polled could see the benefits of getting out of their comfort zones and more than two in five (43 per cent) would consider doing something out of their comfort zone for charity.

An estimated 7 million people in the UK are living with heart and circulatory disease, but with the help of its generous supporters, the BHF is fighting back by funding ground-breaking research to find new ways to treat these devastating conditions.

By breaking out of your normal routine and planning a fundraiser of your choice, you can help them continue this vital work.

From zumbathons and treasure hunts to pet shows and cake sales, or putting a twist on a hobby, whichever way you choose to fundraise, why not gather together your friends and family and help us beat cardiovascular disease for good.

For more information and to get your free fundraising pack, visit

Sian Edwards, British Heart Foundation.

MY name is Alan and I am working on a brand new TV show for a major broadcaster.

We are looking to find inspirational people/community groups around the UK who have done something outstanding to appear in a new show where they will receive a surprise performance by a famous music artist.

We are also looking for people that may have written a song for a loved one, or with a powerful message, and would like help recording it and performing it as a surprise.

If there are any people in your local community who you think would be deserving of a surprise such as this then it would be great to find out more about them.

We are looking for the exceptional, the deserving, and the bravest people out there.

The nature of the show is for us to surprise people so if there is anyone you think would be worthy please do keep it a secret from them.

If you would like more information please call me on 02076915137.

Alan Riches, London.

SCOTLAND'S Munro hunter and outdoor enthusiast Jack Campbell is encouraging you to join Bowel Cancer UK’s Walk Together this summer and help fund their vital research and lifesaving work.

This year, Bowel Cancer UK is celebrating its 30th anniversary and hopes you will organise a special five mile sponsored walk in your local area.

It’s an opportunity to bring people together so that they can show their support for those undergoing treatment, remember loved ones and raise funds to help stop bowel cancer.

There are national Walk Together events happening in Edinburgh, Belfast and London on the same day at the same time – Saturday 23 September 2017 at 11am.

If you can’t make one of these organised walks, you can organise your own Walk Together event somewhere special in your local area.

If you are doing your own event, the charity would encourage you to do it anytime from July to September, or any time of year that might suit you.

Bowel cancer is Scotland’s second biggest cancer killer, and yet it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer.

Sign up to receive a fundraising pack with everything you need to hold your own memorable walk or to join us for a national Walk Together event on Saturday 23 September. Visit:

Rebecca Roe, Bower Cancer UK.