A petition has been launched online by ‘Kids Need Our Ward’ campaigners calling on Shona Robison, the Scottish Government minister for Health and Sport not to close the Children’s Ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
In February, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde voted to move specialist services from the Children’s Ward at the RAH in Paisley to Glasgow, effectively closing the ward.
The final decision lies with Shona Robison who has to rubber stamp the closure. She is expected to respect the decision made by the health board.
The RAH will retain some services, including outpatient services, the specialist Community Paediatric service (PANDA), and emergency care via A&E.
The petition was setup by Carolann Davidson on Political site 38 Degrees. Via the page she said: “Our children and the future children are the reason we have formed a campaign group. We have the support of many in our community and will continue to raise awareness and get more people involved. A move to The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is more than a simple inconvenience, it will have a huge impact on many family’s lives. Ward 15 is a safety net and a centre of excellence. It should be cultivated and encouraged to offer more services.
The answer to good quality care is not centralised huge hospitals, but second to none local services. Why close such a centre of excellence, surely the service it provides to the local community should be invested in further, to increase its role and continued existence.
“If Ward 15 closes, in an emergency situation, a child could have an additional 30 minutes, life threatening travelling time by ambulance, car or taxi to the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
“The cost and logistics of getting to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital from Paisley and further afield is prohibitive to a lot of people. This can have a huge impact on a child’s recovery as friends and family may not be able to visit, impacting on the children’s mental health. It is ludicrous to remove paediatric services from areas where they are most needed.
“More children with very complex health needs are enjoying a family life enjoyed by their peers. Many of them rely on the high quality service provided by Ward 15 to remain at home with support close at hand when they need it. The care families provide saves the NHS billions of pounds per year.”
Karen, a founding member of ‘Kids Need Our Ward’ campaign said: “Ward 15 saved my son when he was 11 days old, my GP referred him to the short stay with what we thought was a very bad cold. A doctor took one look at him and said he has meningitis.
He is now 7 years old and has been left with complex life limiting conditions which means he is in ward 15 as an inpatient, for varying lengths of time, on a weekly basis. In the time it would take me to rush him to the QEUH my son could die!
I also have an 9 year old with additional support need who also attends the ward and the Panda Centre. If the health board close ward 15 they will be signing my 7 year olds death certificate.”
To sign the petition click here: http://bit.ly/2nUGp4P