A long-awaited update on health provision in Bishopton has now been provided by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GG&C) Health Board following local concerns over a lack of progress on the issue.
The Dargavel development has seen the population of Bishopton rise in recent years and there is growing concern within the community that the current health centre is struggling to cope with demand. A new health centre has been on the cards for some time and the Section 75 obligations related to the development note that a solution to the provision of healthcare facilities is to be agreed and delivered by the end of 2022.
The health board have now provided an update on their plans to resolve this matter, to Gavin Newlands MP and SNP candidate for Renfrewshire North & West, Natalie Don, setting out steps with short, medium and long-term proposals. This includes immediate actions to review options to improve capacity within the existing centre in Bishopton, and in the long term, a costing exercise will be undertaken for a solution to improve capacity within the new development, with hopes that design work will take place in next financial year followed by construction thereafter.
Councillor Natalie Don and Gavin Newlands MP have welcomed this update however they have also raised their concerns over the length of time this is taking and have jointly written to the health board, requesting more urgency and clarity.
SNP candidate for the upcoming Scottish Parliament Elections in May and Councillor Natalie Don said: “I am pleased that investment into health provision within the Bishopton area remains a priority for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and I am glad to note some progress in relation to moving forward with a costing exercise for a new health centre within the Dargavel development as well as options to improve capacity within the current centre.”
“However, I am concerned that we are still in the very early stages. The Bishopton community deserve a resolution to this sooner rather than later. As a local councillor for Bishopton, this has been something which has been raised with me repeatedly, by many residents and I have been working hard to get a resolution. Having been previously advised that costing and design work would be undertaken in early 2020, I am extremely disappointed that there has been no, or very little movement on this since then. The Bishopton community have been very patient but concerns over health provision continue to rise and people are understandably angry about the lack of clarity.”
“Gavin and I have jointly written to the Health Board to request that a number of actions are taken and urge that this matter is treated with priority. I can assure residents in Bishopton that if elected as your MSP, this will remain an absolute priority for me and I will continue to do everything within my power to see a resolution, that works for the whole community.”
Gavin Newlands MP said “Councillor Natalie Don is correct in her call for clarity on the plans being put forward by Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board. When I met with representatives from the GGCHB and RHSCP in December last year I made clear that the communities of Bishopton and Dargavel required not only certainty but a tangible timescale which they could expect delivery on a solution that works for all.”
Full letter to Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Thank you for the update regarding health provision in Bishopton, sent to Gavin Newlands MP and I.
We are pleased that investment into health provision within the Bishopton area remains a priority for Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health board and are glad to note some progress in the form of a costing exercise for a solution to improve capacity in the Dargavel development. We are also very happy to note that options are now being considered to improve capacity within the current centre.
While this progress is noted, we are disappointed that we are not further forward and would request that urgency be shown regarding this matter. In December 2019, I attended a meeting with yourself and other relevant stakeholders including Renfrewshire Health and Social Care (RHSCP) and Renfrewshire Council. The outcome of that meeting concluded that detail and design would take place in the coming weeks, further information would be provided in early 2020 and further meetings would be arranged to discuss plans.
We are now over a year since this meeting and the fact there has been no movement is a matter of concern. The Bishopton community have been very patient on this matter but concerns over health provision continue to rise and people are understandably angry about the lack of clarity.
The Section 75 obligations related to the Dargavel development note that a solution to the provision of healthcare facilities is to be agreed and delivered by the end of 2022. With no real progress to date, I would urge that this remains a priority to ensure that the needs of the community in Bishopton are met. We would ask that a detailed timeline is provided on the actions detailed within your response which will allow the community an understanding of what is happening and when and provide the certainty that they require.
The response also advises that, in the short term, capacity will increase at the current centre, but no detail has been given on the extent of this or timescale. Could you provide more information on this to clarify how this additional capacity will make a difference to residents and also what consideration has been given to any long-term capacity issues at this centre
based on projected population growth in the Bishopton area? Could you also provide more information on the outcome of the Property and Asset Strategy study in relation to the considerations made specifically for Bishopton and Dargavel? This is vital as we understand this could have an effect on any future decisions made on the services across the whole area.
Finally, it would be beneficial to arrange a further meeting with yourself early in the new financial year with other interested parties to enable us to discuss these issues further.
Thank you for your ongoing assistance with this matter.
Councillor Natalie Don
Ward 11 – Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank