Neil Findlay MSP has condemned the Scottish Government following an announcement that plans to re-open St John’s Hospital Children’s Ward on a 24/7 basis have been delayed once again.

The Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, said in January 2019 that the Children’s Ward would partially re-open in March and be operating on a 24/7 basis by October 2019, however this has now been delayed yet again. The Health Secretary has attributed this to continued staffing issues.

Neil Findlay – who has consistently campaigned for the full reopening of the kids ward since the first three-week closure in 2012 – has criticised the government for repeated NHS recruitment failures.

Reacting to the news, Neil Findlay MSP said:

 “The staffing crisis at St John’s has been going on for 7 years. We have had three closures of the out of hours service with well over 1000 patients affected during the most recent closure.

“We were told earlier this year by the Cabinet Secretary, Jeane Freeman, that the service at St John’s would return to a 24/7 service in October. She has failed to deliver on that commitment yet again.

“Families across Lothian will feel let down by another SNP Minister. We have a new children’s hospital that is 6 years late and is costing £1.4 million a month in charges and now we have a Children’s ward that was supposed to reopen on a 24/7 basis in October no longer able to do so – what a mess.

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