Approximately 1000 children have been transferred from St John’s Hospital in Livingston to the Royal Hospital of Sick Children in Edinburgh.

This is because the Scottish Government, and NHS Lothian, have failed to address a staffing crisis that has resulted in St John’s Hospital Children’s Ward being closed to patients out of hours.

In a letter to local MSP, Neil Findlay, the Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, admitted that 954 children have been treated in Edinburgh over the course of the ward’s many closures.

Neil Findlay MSP said:

“By today it is likely that 1,000 children will have had to be sent to Edinburgh for treatment because of the SNP’s failure on NHS staffing. That’s 1,000 families who have had to endure up to 60 miles of travel, stress, delays and expense just get their children treatment.

That is utterly unacceptable – and still happening despite a commitment from the SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman that fully reopening the ward was her highest priority.

Instead, families in West Lothian look set to have to endure at least 36 months of more closures and failures.

Far too many families have had to travel past their local hospital to Edinburgh for treatment when they should have been treated in St John’s.

SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman must apologies to those families her government has failed – and work to reinstate a 24/7 service at the hospital as soon as possible.”

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