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Change to the children's ward at St John's Hospital this Sunday

Change to the children's ward at St John's Hospital this Sunday

To ensure patient safety, the children's short stay assessment unit at St John's Hospital in Livingston will not open on Sunday 3rd December 2017.

Parents are not being asked to do anything differently. If patients require health care or advice on Sunday, they should take the normal steps of calling NHS 24 on 111. They will either be directed to an out-of-hours GP or referred on to the most appropriate place.

Children will still be assessed and treated in the Emergency Department and a paediatric consultant will be available on call 24/7.

If a child needs to be admitted to hospital, a transfer to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh will be arranged.

Maternity and neonatal services at the hospital are unaffected and normal service will resume on Monday 4th December.

The decision to change the opening hours has been made as a result of ongoing staffing and recruitment issues which mean there are not enough doctors available to cover overnight and weekends.

Jacquie Campbell, Chief Officer of Acute Services, NHS Lothian said: "The safety of our patients must be our top priority and for that reason the unit will not open on Sunday.

"Despite our best efforts, we have been unable to reliably secure the levels of staffing required on Sunday to guarantee a safe service. This is the safest option for the children of West Lothian and normal service will resume on Monday."

NHS Lothian has worked closely with the Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS 24 and local GPs to ensure the provision of a safe and reliable service.