MSP campaigns to retain cleft palate service

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Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative MSP for Lothian and the Shadow Public Health Minister, is calling on MSPs and MPs across eastern Scotland to unite to stop plans that would centralise cleft lip and palate surgery in Glasgow and remove the service from Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital.

Mr Briggs has made the call as Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, is due to make a decision on whether or not to approve the plans.

The Tory MSP has written again to Ms Robison on behalf of concerned parents and clinicians. In addition his Parliamentary motion on the subject has attracted the cross party support necessary to allow it to be debated in Parliament after the summer recess.

Mr Briggs said: “With the Health Secretary due to take a decision on the future of cleft lip and palate surgery any day now, I am calling on all MSPs and MPs representing Eastern Scotland to unite and urge her to stop these flawed centralisation plans.

“The Edinburgh unit offers a world class service with very high outcomes and it would be a travesty if this was lost due to a centralisation, the case for which simply hasn’t been made. The Edinburgh team enjoys very strong support from parents and the community. I have been heartened by the local parents and campaigners who have spoken out and made the case for the Edinburgh service to be saved.

“I am disappointed that no SNP MSP has signed my motion on this subject although pleased it has received the backing of all the opposition parties in Parliament. Even at this late stage I hope SNP MSPs and MPs will make representations to Shona Robison as I know many of their constituents have been urging them to support the campaign against the centralisation plans.

“Sometimes in politics it is clear that Ministers and their advisers have got a decision wrong. I hope that Shona Robison will see this is such a case and save the Edinburgh cleft lip surgery service.”