OPPOSITION councillors have passed a motion condemning the decision to shut the children's ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

The cross-party motion calling on health secretary Shona Robison to reverse her decision to shut ward 15 was voted for by Conservative, Labour and Independent elected members at a Renfrewshire Council meeting today.

The motion was backed over an amendment from the SNP minority administration which reccomended the council accept Ms Robison's decision.

Cllr Carolann Davidson, a leading figure in the Kids Need Our Ward campaign, said: "I am pleased that opposition councillors have united in support of the campaigners and families who have fought to keep ward 15 open.

"SNP Councillors, who unanimously voted against the motion, rejected the opportunity to do the right thing and stand up for the people of Renfrewshire.

"They have simply followed the party line.  They will never be trusted in Renfrewshire again."

Proposals by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to move inpatient and day care paediatrics from the hospital’s ward 15 to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow were rubber-stamped by Ms Robison last month.

Families staged a high-profile campaign against the closure saying it would put sick children at risk.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I recognise the decision to relocate three of the current paediatric services at the RAH to the new Royal Hospital for Children will have been deeply disappointing for those families that have expressed concerns about the proposed changes.

“I welcome the assurances given by the Cabinet Secretary that all the issues raised during the engagement have been fully considered.

"I also met with parents and listened to their concerns when we met with the Cabinet Secretary last year and we were clear that any change could have significant impacts for families such as additional costs, transport and travel time.

“The decision by the health board was taken based upon ensuring the best quality healthcare for children and followed clinical advice and a full consideration of all the issues raised, however I welcome the conditions that the board must work closely with the families to ensure individual treatment and access plans are in place before any change is made."

Neil Bibby, Labour MSP for the West of Scotland, said: "It isn't too late for the health minister to stop ignoring and start listening to Renfrewshire families."