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Happy Birthday

Exactly 20-years-ago today a modest British scientist, Tim Berners Lee launched his new invention.

At the time, almost no-one noticed.

And yet he is without doubt one of the most important people of the 20th and indeed the 21st centuries.

His invention has touched every single person reading this.

So happy 20th birthday today to Tim Berners Lee’s brainchild,

The World Wide Web

Sick

This is not a new story but it is one I just became aware of. There are proposals to close the children’s ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

Regular readers may remember how my family and I have every reason to be grateful for the care my daughter received at the RAH.

I only found out about this last night and have found that services are to be transferred to Yorkhill in Glasgow under the proposals. Also there is talk of upgraded services at the Southern General with a new state of the art children’s ward.

I have attended both these alternative hospitals with Eve and have to say that the RAH is by far our preferred choice. At the Southern General at our last appointment there we had to park a mile from the hospital. Yorkhill is in a similar busy area but thankfully the parking is (a bit) better.

At the time of Eve’s first emergency, the paramedics explained the reasons for taking Eve to the RAH and not Yorkhill.

They were good and valid reasons.

I had a bit of chat with some folk last night about this issue. One chap who seemed to have an expertise, said that the ward was not an emergency but a paediatric one.

And yet on two occasions Eve has stayed in ward 15 as an in patient it has been as a result of an emergency. There were certainly other emergency cases admitted during her stays.

He pointed out that there was this new facility at the Southern General which is to include new parking.

And yet for patients in Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute, it’s that bit further away.

Paisley is not a wealthy town. It is a prime example of a town that has had its heart and soul ripped out of it by planning decisions.

The building of the Breahead Shopping Centre, combined with an absolutely crazy pedestrianisation scheme led to shops closing at an alarming rate – some of those had been in the town for over a century.

This has a knock on effect in civic pride and ultimately the self esteem of the people who live there. The council’s defence of the scheme in those days was to keep repeating that they had invested £10 million in regenerating Paisley.

As the local people walk past the boarded up and imaginary shops they must wonder at how wisely that money was invested:

Every shop that closes, every service that is withdrawn has a knock on effect. Restaurants, cafes, taxis, pubs, filling stations, B&B, hotels and all manner of ancillary services rely on people visiting and using an area. The effect on Paisley’s fragile economy is another reason why the children’s ward (The Panda Ward) at the RAH should remain open.

A town with a population of 90,000 without a hospital ward for children?

Can that be right?

There is an online petition which you can sign here

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