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MSP urges health bosses to include community in decisions over axed hospital site

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Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop has written to health bosses expressing her concern about the decision not to reopen St Michael’s Hospital.The politician has written to the chair of the West Lothian Integration Joint Board following their decision in August to keep services at St Michael’s Hospital closed.The hospital was shut in 2020 at the height of Covid but until then provided vital care services for the elderly as short term stay unit before people returned home, or found a permanent care placement.And in August members of the IJB agreed to close St Michael’s, as well as Tippethill Hospital in Armadale, and create one new purpose built centre in Livingston.At the time Fiona argued that it should be developed as a minor injuries unit to serve the growing population of Linlithgow and Winchburgh.She has now asked for clarification on the Board’s plans for the hospital and urged them to ensure they keep their promise to connect with the community in any plans for the future.She said: “I have written to the board asking for an update on their progress to create a ‘sub group’ of Integration Joint Board members, local elected representatives and local groups, as they indicated was their plans at the last IJB meeting in August.“There are a lot of concerned people in the community, not least the Friends of St Michael’s who are eager to understand what role they will play in securing a positive future for St Michael’s Hospital.“Having spoken at length to the Friends of St Michael’s and my constituents over the summer, it is important to highlight that although it was the IJB’s decision to keep St Michael’s closed for its previous service provision, locally this is still considered a temporary closure of the actual Hospital itself

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