3rd October 2000

To all members of the
public responding
to the Public Consultation
on Greater Glasgow’s
Hospital Services

Dear Sir/Madam,

Acute Hospital Services Strategy for Glasgow: Public Consultation

Friday 8th September 2000 marked the end of the first phase of the largest consultation exercise ever undertaken by the NHS in Scotland. We sought to provide summary information for delivery to every household in Greater Glasgow and participated in an extensive programme of meetings. We received over 3000 responses, including your own, from people, groups and organisations and hundreds of questions and comments were returned from the meetings.

The motivation behind this was the now pressing need to get agreed, for the first time in decades, a comprehensive strategy to deal with the crumbling buildings and inappropriate, outdated systems that bedevil the otherwise excellent health care delivered to hundreds of thousands of hospital patients in Glasgow. It is clear that the infrastructure that has stood Glasgow well in the last two centuries is not up to the tasks and technologies of the 21st Century.

The responses we received prompted a lot of further analysis of the issues. This was all summarised and discussed at the Board’s meeting held on 19th September. We have had to make sense of a great deal of interconnecting detail, contrasted by differing and sometimes strong opinion. We recognise that with a strategy for change we are going to make some people unhappy by altering the status quo, or by delivering something different from their ideal solution.

The nature of public services often calls for compromise between aspirations and practicality, but what has come out of this part of consultation process is a set of clear proposals. We are confident that they would deliver acute services for patients in the best possible hospital facilities, with the best staff and equipment. Yet we would still have the flexibility to tackle the root causes of ill-health from within communities. We think what is on offer is the most ambitious health deal Greater Glasgow has had since 1948.

Up until near the end of the consultation period we tried to answer every letter we received individually. But eventually the rate of response was such that we were unable to continue to do this. If you did not receive a personal response to your letter, please accept my apologies and my assurances that your views were summarised and included in the papers which went before the Board.

The issues are very complex and the devil really is in the detail of the Board papers. However, as they ran to over 120 pages I have enclosed a summary document with appendices which makes clear the issues discussed and decisions taken on 19th September. If you do require a set of the full Board papers you are welcome to obtain it by contacting me at this address or by calling 0141 201 4616 (the papers are also posted at our website www.show.scot.nhs.uk/GGNHSB).

On behalf of the Board I want to thank you for your invaluable response to our consultation and the time and consideration you put into drafting it. We know that debate will continue and will review the position again on 19th December in the light of further debate and analysis. If you do want to formally contribute any new insights and observations based on the most recent analysis we have produced, please let us have them, care of myself, no later than Friday 8th December.

Yours sincerely,

John C Hamilton
Head of Board Administration