Inverclyde and Renfrewshire hospital services


Proposals for the future delivery of acute services in Inverclyde and Renfrewshire were approved today by Health Minister Andy Kerr.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde unanimously agreed the retention of A&E services and the vast majority of inpatient services at both Inverclyde Royal Hospital (IRH) in Greenock and the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) in Paisley.

The plans also provide for the future expansion of outpatient and day treatment facilities at both hospitals, as well as changes to the delivery of a number of inpatient specialties.

Mr Kerr, who is visiting the IRH today, said:

"I am pleased to approve these proposals. They are good news for the communities of Inverclyde and Renfrewshire and good news for patients.

"I carefully considered all the available information and representations before coming to my decision.

"This ends the long-running uncertainty regarding the future of the IRH, and it provides a firm foundation for the delivery of comprehensive, high-quality and sustainable care across the region.

"I have asked the Board to take account of a number of issues raised during their consultation, particularly in relation to transport and access to services.

"I also expect them to work with staff and patient groups to deliver the further redesign of some inpatient specialties. In recognition of the specific concerns raised over dermatology services, I have asked for an assurance that in advance of any change to that service there will be a comprehensive programme of patient and carer involvement."

The former NHS Argyll and Clyde had, in 2004, developed a Clinical Strategy which included proposals to develop the Royal Alexandra Hospital as the sole emergency and major inpatient site for the area. Between 27,000 and 37,000 episodes of patient care would have transferred from IRH to RAH.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's proposals - 'A Safe and Sustainable Future for Hospital Services in Inverclyde and Renfrewshire' - were subject to a public consultation and were approved by the Board on 20 February 2007. This followed a review of acute services carried out during 2006.

The changes to inpatient specialty areas were detailed in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's plans. These affect a relatively small number of patients, with the vast majority of care continuing to be delivered locally.

Urology: IRH patients requiring emergency treatment or major planned care to transfer to RAH for treatment. Around 300 patients a year from October 2007.

Vascular surgery: IRH patients requiring emergency or major planned care to transfer to the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow. Between 50-100 patients a year after October 2007.

Dermatology: RAH inpatients to transfer to Southern General. Around 230 inpatients after August 2007.

ENT: Complex inpatient services transferring from IRH and RAH to Southern General. Around 550 inpatients from August 2007.

Opthamology: Emergency inpatients from both RAH and IRH to transfer to a Glasgow site. Around 40 patients from IRH and 80 from RAH in phases by 2012.