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Briggs joins urgent West Lothian Council meeting with NHS Lothian on St John’s children’s ward.

Miles Briggs, Lothian MSP and the Shadow Health Secretary, today joined other Lothian MSPs and Councillors from across West Lothian at an urgent meeting on the future of paediatric services at St John’s Hospital with NHS Lothian Chair Brian Houston and other senior health board officials. The meeting, which took placed this morning at West Lothian Civic Centre in Livingston, was arranged by West Lothian Council’s Chief Executive and follows the unanimous passing of a motion recently by West Lothian Councillors condemning the closure of the children’s ward to inpatients from July 7th.

Speaking afterwards Miles, who has tabled a series of Parliamentary questions about the closure of the ward to inpatients, said:

“ Elected representatives expressed to the NHS Chair and his colleagues very clearly our constituents’ anger and frustration at the closure of the children’s ward to inpatients yet again after several such closures over the past few years.

“ The closure of the much-loved children’s ward means potentially hundreds of West Lothian families facing lengthy and costly extra journeys to the Sick Kids’ in Edinburgh to visit their child in hospital.

“ NHS Lothian pledged to improve its communication with elected members about the children’s ward and their plans to reopen it on a full basis but could not give any firm date for this happening. West Lothian residents need very clear assurances from NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government that comprehensive workforce plans are in process to recruit the extra staff required to allow the ward to be reopened and that this situation will not arise again in future years. I will continue to press Ministers on this important issue.”

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* For any further information, please call Miles’ office on 0131 348 5945.

Miles Briggs