GREATER Glasgow and Clyde's Chief Executive is to respond to concerns about Inverclyde Royal raised by a local campaigner.

Jane Grant says she will write a letter directly to Martin McCluskey, Labour's candidate at the next general election.

He voiced a number of concerns about the new hospital shake-up which will see patients in Inverclyde with life-threatening and severe injuries sent to Paisley or the Queen Elizabeth rather than treated in Greenock.

But health bosses hit back saying similar arrangements in other parts of Scotland are already saving lives.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesman said: "We are aware that Mr McCluskey has written to our chief executive regarding the proposal for a major trauma network and she will respond directly to him.

"This proposal is a national approach to the management of trauma patients which is being implemented across Scotland; in fact the first two in Dundee and Aberdeen are already established.

"The approach is already saving lives and providing better outcomes for patients.

"Evidence shows that people are 15-20 per cent more likely to survive if they are admitted to a major trauma centre. Not only that, but patients who get this initial treatment are less likely to have a long-term disability and have a better chance of returning to a normal life afterwards.

"Within the new trauma model, Inverclyde Royal Hospital will be a local emergency hospital, receiving emergency general surgery and medical patients, which makes up the vast majority of admissions.

"To support this emergency activity, approval has been given to appoint two additional emergency department consultants to support emergency flow. "

The health board say Inverclyde Royal will play a vital role in the major trauma unit's future by taking patients back for rehabilitation.

Each patient will have a tailored plan throughout their journey back to health, with timely access to the most appropriate rehabilitation services.

The health board welcomed the support of Councillor Jim Clocherty, who told the Tele that he thinks the new set-up will safeguard the future of Inverclyde Royal.

He added: "We are pleased that the plan received the backing of Councillor Jim Clocherty, the Chair of Inverclyde IJB, who says he believes this proposal will safeguard the hospital."