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Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 20:04 GMT
Shake-up of city hospitals approved
Hospital ward
The plans involve a major reorganisation of hospitals
Health chiefs have been meeting to discuss a massive reorganisation of hospital services in Scotland's largest city.

In the largest shake-up of Glasgow's health care services in more than 100 years, the number of in-patient hospitals is to be halved from six to three.

One of the city's hospitals will close completely while another two will be replaced by day treatment centres.

Greater Glasgow Health Board also agreed that controversial plans to build a special secure unit for the mentally ill at a Stobhill hospital in the north of the city should be placed back on the agenda, despite fierce public protest.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary
Glasgow Royal Infirmary: A&E

The board decided on plans to modernise treatment by focusing in-patient care at three of the city's six hospitals - the Royal Infirmary, Gartnaval, and a hospital in the south of the city, which could be the Southern General or a new purpose-built facility.

The Western Infirmary will close completely under the plan - transferring its services to Gartnavel Hospital.

Stobhill Hospital and the Victoria Infirmary will become Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic (ACAD) hospitals - where it is hoped patients will be seen, diagnosed and treated on a day care basis.

These plans have been under discussion for more than two years, and will take over a decade to implement.

Accident and emergency

It is expected that the board will order the preparation of a business plan on the Stobhill site, after it was chosen as its preferred site for the medium-secure facilities.

Stobhill Hospital
Stobhill Hospital is the preferred site for the secure unit
This decision comes despite a vociferous campaign by local residents, who are opposed to such a facility.

Last year about 30 demonstrators staged a picket outside Parkhead football stadium, where the final public meeting on the site for the medium-secure unit was being held.

Two MSPs and three local councillors joined residents as they boycotted the meeting.

However, Scotland desperately needs more medium-secure facilities - some 40 patients are currently held in the state hospital at Carstairs despite the fact that they do not need such a high level of security.

Health minister Malcolm Chisholm said the shake-up proposals amounted to "significant and far-reaching changes" in the way NHS acute hospital services are organised in Glasgow.

We need decisive action to expand Glasgow's health service, not more cuts, and we need it soon.

SNP health spokeswoman Nicola Sturgeon
"They deserve careful scrutiny and detailed analysis by the executive," he said.

He said a range of views had been expressed as part of a consultation process.

"Strong views will also be expressed in the days and weeks to come. I believe one common strand, however, is that the status quo is not an option," said the minister.

However, SNP shadow health minister Nicola Sturgeon said the plans would result in cutbacks to services.

"We need decisive action to expand Glasgow's health service, not more cuts, and we need it soon," she said.

Aileen Clarke reports
"In-patient beds are to be centralised at three hospitals."
See also:

14 Dec 01 | Scotland
Stobhill staff threaten to quit
25 Jun 01 | Scotland
Secure unit site under microscope
31 Jan 02 | Scotland
Hospital campaign shakes by-election
29 Jan 01 | Scotland
Talks begin on secure unit site
21 Mar 00 | Scotland
Secure unit 'lessons learned'
02 Mar 00 | Scotland
MSPs angry over unit row
18 Jan 00 | Scotland
Secure unit plan approved
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