Vale of Leven Hospital’s out of hours service was closed for the majority of September.

Figures obtained by Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie through a Freedom of Information request found that that the service was closed for 18 out of the 30 days in September 2019.

This brings the total days that the out of hours service has been closed in 2019 to 128 days.

Ms Baillie met with health board chiefs, including chief executive, Jane Grant, along with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Jeane Freeman, at the Vale of Leven hospital over the summer to discuss the issue.

According to Ms Baillie, during the meeting the health board promised that they were exploring all options to ensure that the service remained open to patients.

READ MORE: Campaign to save Vale of Leven Hospital in "partnership of trust" with health board

But she told the Reporter that, so far, there has been no improvement.

Ms Baillie said the current problems are a continuation of the health board’s failure in 2018, which resulted in the out of hours service being closed a total of 83 times.

She said the service is failing more local patients, as the latest statistics show a worsening position.

Ms Baillie said: “It is clear that despite calls from the public and myself, the health board have made little change to ensuring that our out of hours service is available for local patients. There are still an eye watering number of closures and even worse, they are increasing.

“The health board have spoken at length about their desire to improve out of hours services at the Vale of Leven, but actions speak louder than words.

“For the sake of patients in my constituency, improvements must be made as a matter of urgency.

“Local patients are being disadvantaged, they simply cannot continue to suffer as a result of these out of hours closures. The health board must take action urgently.”

A statement issued by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “When a GP Out of Hours Centre is closed, our GP home visiting service is available as normal for patients who were assessed by NHS 24 as requiring this.

“This is not an issue which is unique to NHSGGC, nor the Vale of Leven Hospital.

“There are a number of developments underway in primary and community services which will offer people a wider range of choice in terms of getting the support they need out of hours.”

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