The Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Council is to write a letter to the Scottish Government to ask for the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) children’s ward to stay open.
The decision was taken after a special meeting was held at the Renfrewshire Council offices yesterday. The motion against the closure of the RAH Ward was won by 21 votes to 18.
The leader of the SNP-led Renfrewshire Council, Iain Nicolson offered an amendment to the motion, saying he supported the closure of Ward 15.
Twenty-one councillors, including Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem and an Independent voted for the motion. Eighteen SNP councillors for the amendment.
A high-profile campaign from Renfrewshire Labour, alongside parents of current and former patients of ward 15 fought long and hard by gathering signatures for petitions in local town centres and at a variety of events during the Summer.
They also organised marches and protests in a bid to reverse a decision by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
The services will now move out of town to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. The RAH will continue to offer out-patient appointments including the specialist Community Paediatric Service (PANDA).
Jane Strang, Councillor for Renfrewshire North and Braehead, said: “The community wants Ward 15 to remain open, and that is exactly what councillors have voted for today. Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dem and Independent – we all put our differences aside and backed the community in calling for the SNP to reverse their decision to close the RAH children’s ward.
“We had hoped that SNP councillors might stand up for the wishes of the people who elected them, but they decided they would rather kowtow to their bosses in Holyrood.”
West of Scotalnd MSP Maurice Golden said: “The SNP decided to close the children’s ward at the RAH despite strong local opposition, and without any clear plans in place for the affected families. Conservative councillors, along with those from other opposition parties, have stood up for the community and called on the SNP to think again.
“Sadly, the SNP councillors decided to turn their back on the community and vote against this motion. They seem to have forgotten who their real bosses are – not Nicola Sturgeon or Shona Robison, but the people of Renfrewshire. That’s who they should be sticking up for.”
Chief Executive Sandra Black will write to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison shortly to put across the Council’s position and ask for her to overturn her decision.