Big reductions in the number of beds and staff at Vale of Leven Hospital have been revealed.

A Freedom of Information response to Jackie Baillie MSP shows that in 2007 there were 130 inpatient beds available at the Vale of Leven hospital.

But by 2016 that figure had reduced to just 82 beds where it remains today, a total reduction of 36 per cent - a reduction Ms Baillie described as “shocking”.

Last year West Dunbartonshire Council ran a campaign to encourage Bankies to head to the Vale if they required treatment for minor injuries.

But, in what MSP Baillie calls “a further blow”, the same FOI response revealed that overall staff numbers have been slashed by almost 40 per cent, from 913 in 2007 to just 555 in 2018.

As well as the 40 per cent cut to nursing and midwifery staff, medical staff have been slashed by 70 per cent since 2007.

Ms Baillie said: “The Vale of Leven Hospital is valued by patients right across West Dunbartonshire. For patients, getting treatment at the RAH or the other hospitals across Greater Glasgow and Clyde is just a journey too far.

“Hard working staff across the area are struggling to cope with increasing demands but the health board has dramatically cut beds and staff numbers leaving our health service struggling.

“It is increasingly clear that the promises made by the Vale Vision have not been kept, as services continue to be moved away from the hospital and centralised in Paisley.

“It is time that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde committed to the Vale and stopped trying to take things away from our local community.”

However, the health board said the reductions are the result of more day surgery and a shift in the balance of care from hospital to community services.

A spokesperson said: “Our ‘Moving Forward Together’ strategy, approved in June, sets out how primary, community and acute health and social care services will work together in the future to support people to live longer, healthier lives in their own homes and communities and to promote self-management and independence.

“Care shall be delivered as close to home as possible, supported by a network of community services with safe, effective and timely access to high quality specialist services for those whose needs cannot be met in the community.

“Our bed numbers have not reduced in the past year and the reasons for the previous reductions between 2007 and 2016 are due to more same day surgery resulting on less need for overnight beds and more care being provided in the community, both in the case of mental health beds and acute hospital beds.

“This shift in the balance of care from hospital to community services is a long term ambition both at a national level and locally. This ambition is drawn from best practice from across the world.”