In a letter to Stuart McMillan MSP, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP has confirmed that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) are not closing the two ICU beds at the IRH.
The Greenock and Inverclyde MSP wrote to the Health Secretary and the Chief Executive of NHSGGC following continued concerns from the public about the future of the local ICU department.
Commenting, Stuart said:
“It’s frustrating that the First Minister and the Health Secretary have had to give reassurances about our ICU department simply because the health board failed to engage and communicate with staff and our community properly.
“The Health Secretary agrees with me that this formalised patient pathway, which will see only 7% of the total critical care admissions to the IRH transferred to the QEUH, should have been better explained by NHSGGC as this would have helped avoid the level of panic expressed locally over the past fortnight.
“This patient pathway isn’t new, it’s been happening throughout the pandemic, as evidence shows that 30% of COVID-19 patients who require ventilation also require renal support. This resulted in nine COVID-19 patients at the IRH being transferred to QEUH for continued multidisciplinary ICU support.
“However, the Health Secretary has been clear that the Level 3 ICU beds at the IRH will remain open and patients from Inverclyde will continue to be admitted, assessed and stabilised. They will not bypass the hospital.
“Critical care services at the IRH will continue to treat local patients with complications due to diabetes, sepsis, pneumonia, exacerbations of asthma or COPD, heart attacks, other cardiac conditions and trauma.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has heaped further pressure on our health service, and that means this is not business as usual. These changes are being made in response to the emerging clinical evidence about how best to treat the most ill patients with COVID-19. “The Scottish Government are committed to protecting lives during this pandemic, and I welcome the First Minister’s and the Health Secretary’s commitment to comprehensive hospital, community and primary care services across Inverclyde, including at the IRH.”