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Campaign to save hospital shop highlighted to Health Secretary

A campaign to save the “essential” shop at Livingston’s St John’s Hospital has been highlighted to Scotland’s Health Secretary.

Labour’s Holyrood spokesperson on Health, Jackie Baillie MSP, has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf outlining concerns about the possible loss of the shop.

The unit, run by the national retailer Compass, is set to close at the end of the week after the firm opted not to renew its lease – footfall has dropped 65 per cent since the pandemic.

A spokesperson for Mrs Baillie said: “Jackie Baillie MSP shares concerns around the closure of the Hospital Shop at St John’s.

“She has written to the Cabinet Secretary to raise this as a matter of urgency.”

West Lothian Council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick called the shop “essential” for patients, staff and visitors.

He said: “The shop is an essential part of any major hospital and provides a wide variety of goods for patients, staff and visitors.

“This will have the effect of our much-loved St John’s being the only major hospital in central Scotland without a shop for essential toiletry goods, newspapers and magazines, greeting cards, confectionery and the like.

“A steady stream of patients use the shop daily. The nearest retail facility is the Co-op opposite the hospital entrance on Howden Road West, but that would be a dangerous journey for patients with ambulant or cognitive impairment.

“It is understood the shop operator is not renewing the lease as NHS Lothian insists on pre-pandemic rent levels whereas retail has not recovered its turnover due to ongoing lower income. This critical issue requires the immediate intervention of The Cabinet Secretary for Health.”

Neither NHS Lothian or Compass Group Healthcare Retail, would be drawn on

hospital patient Health

Jackie Baillie West Lothian


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