The number of hospital beds available for children in Glasgow has fallen by 40% over the last decade, Scottish Labour has warned.
NHS Scotland figures show NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has seen the average number of available, staffed, paediatric beds fell from 200 in 2011-12 to 120 in 2020-2021.
Free paediatric beds in NHS Lothian increased from 111 to 143 in that time, while NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s average capacity rose from 23 to 34.
But across the whole of Scotland, the average number of available beds for child patients fell 8% from 758 to 700.
Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said fewer available beds for sick children is a “hammer blow to paediatric care”.
Describing the fall in bed numbers as “dangerous”, Ms Baillie added: “With children from all over the country coming to Glasgow for specialist treatment, it should be a centre of excellence – but instead beds are being stripped away.
“We cannot cut corners when it comes to kids’ health.
“This is the SNP’s flagship hospital, but instead of investing in child health the board is cutting beds.
“The SNP and the health board leadership must halt these swingeing cuts and restore bed numbers to where they need to be.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Royal Hospital for Children (RHC) is the largest paediatric care centre in Scotland, providing family-centred care to newborns, infants, children and young people, both in hospital and in the community.
“The transfer of services from Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital allowed the RHC to significantly expand the number of general paediatricians on the site, with more than 304,000 patients benefitting from a wide range of highly complex medical, surgical, cardiac and mental health services there in the last two years.
“Clinical teams working across RHC continue to facilitate care close to home, movement from inpatient to day care pathways and expanded delivery of care from home, which has led to a clinically appropriate reduction in inpatient bed usage.
“The redesign of services means children receive modern, high-quality care closer to their families.”