Commenting on her decision to keep Lightburn Hospital in the East of Glasgow open, announced today in a parliamentary answer, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:
"I have carefully considered all the available information and representations and, on balance, am not convinced by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde's case for change.
"The Government has a policy of maintaining local access to healthcare services where it is appropriate to do so, and where it is in patient's best interests. It is my view that local people's interests are best served by maintaining Lightburn Hospital and its healthcare services.
"I have repeatedly heard - not least from local patients and clinicians - that Lightburn Hospital provides high quality services that are greatly valued by what is a significantly disadvantaged community. I also had to consider the real issues around the adequacy and availability of local public transport links, which local people may have used to access the proposed alternative hospital sites.
"It is the case that hospital services are not static and need to change and in that context this has been a difficult decision. In this particular case, I am not convinced by the Board's proposal for change, and am persuaded by the argument for maintaining local access to what is clearly regarded as valuable and high quality local facility.
"I have therefore asked that the Health Board now works to maintain and improve the quality of the service delivered from Lightburn Hospital, in the best interests of local people."