Renfrewshire Council

Longer travel for most in Renfrewshire under children's hospital services transfer plan

Moving key children's hospital services from Paisley to Glasgow will lengthen hospital travel times for nearly 90% of Renfrewshire residents, according to a report to go to Renfrewshire councillors next week.

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde's plan to transfer some children's services from Ward 15 at RAH to the new RHC will mean parents and guardians having to make a longer journey to be with their children undergoing treatment for some of the most serious illnesses, according to a report to go to Renfrewshire Council on 15 December.

Ward 15 is currently the only remaining acute in-patients facility for children in NHS GGC area outside of the new children's hospital in Govan.

If approved, the changes will mean the end of a comprehensive paediatric service at the RAH.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan has already urged NHS bosses to think again about the plans, saying they would "cause concern and uncertainty among parents and children".

He has called for more funding from the Scottish Government "to maintain high-quality and accessible" hospital-based services for children in the West of Scotland.

A report to the full Council says that the proposed changes would see around 8000 episodes of care - emergency in-patient and planned admissions plus day surgery and planned investigations - being transferred from RAH to Glasgow.

Around 12,000 care episodes would continue to be delivered at Ward 15 - including Accident & Emergency cases turning up at the door, outpatient patient appointments and specialist community paediatric services through the PANDA Centre.

But parents feel that the range of services and specialties within Ward 15 and its staff means there is no need for referrals to QEUH - and that child recovery is helped from having parents and guardians living close to the hospital.

Limited access to transport to get to the Glasgow hospital plus transport costs for some parents - with cash reimbursements paid only under strict criteria - were other concerns expressed by respondents in an online consultation held by the Council earlier this year.

The survey highlighted:

- services provided at Ward 15 are seen as invaluable to the hospital and the people of Renfrewshire and beyond

- strong community links with Ward 15 and the impact of the changes on local jobs

- Ward 15 staff provided "added value" to families during difficult times.

NHSGGC's consultation on its plans for the transfer of some of Ward 15's services will end on 6 February 2017.

Ward 15 was saved from similar proposals in 2012 after a vigorous campaign by parents, politicians, and the local community.