Local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has welcomed a commitment from NHS 24‘s Chief Executive that new Clydebank-based premises will be made available for its workers in West Dunbartonshire.
The NHS 24 helpline services are set to fully vacate their current premises at Clydebank’s Golden Jubilee National Hospital by October 2021, to allow for an expansion of medical facilities at the flagship hospital.
With no local alternative premises available with suitable capacity, the NHS 24 Board had initially proposed relocating all of its medical contact centre workers to external sites in Glasgow and Renfrewshire – sparking concerns over the detrimental impact this would have on its workforce in West Dunbartonshire.
SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes spoke out against the proposals, calling on NHS 24 to reconsider using council-owned Aurora House in Clydebank as a new base for its local workers living in West Dunbartonshire.
Following discussions with Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman and NHS 24‘s Chief Executive Angiolina Foster – alongside local MSP Gil Paterson – the NHS 24 Board has agreed to secure new premises in Clydebank for local workers being relocated from its contact centre at the Golden Jubilee Hospital.
Clydebank’s MP Docherty-Hughes has received assurances from Chief Executive Angiolina Foster that discussions are moving forward with West Dunbartonshire Council to secure Aurora House in Queens Quay as new premises.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“NHS 24 workers based at the Golden Jubilee Hospital have been tireless in their efforts to keep the public informed throughout the Coronavirus pandemic day and night.
“Whilst I understand the need for NHS 24 to seek alternative premises due to the welcome expansion of the hospital, I have made clear to senior members of the Board the importance of retaining a site in Clydebank to accommodate their workers based in West Dunbartonshire.
“The initial proposals to fully relocate all NHS 24 staff currently based at the Golden Jubilee Hospital outside of West Dunbartonshire were completely unacceptable, given the adverse impact it would have on my constituents employed there and the wider community.
“It’s to be welcomed then that the Board have listened to our concerns and I’m grateful to Scotland’s Health Secretary for their role in safeguarding the continuation of employment here in Clydebank for NHS 24 staff living in West Dunbartonshire.
“Discussions are ongoing between NHS 24 and West Dunbartonshire Council on securing Aurora House in Queens Quay as the new home for Clydebank’s NHS 24 workers when they vacate their existing Golden Jubilee premises later this year.
“I’ll be monitoring the situation very closely and will continue speaking up on behalf of my constituents to ensure their employment here in West Dunbartonshire is secure.”