BARRHEAD families claim they have been left feeling “betrayed” after controversial plans to close the sick kids’ ward at the Royal Alexandra Hospital were approved.

Campaigners had staged a high-profile battle to reverse a decision by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) to transfer inpatient and day case paediatrics from Ward 15 at the Paisley hospital to the Royal Hospital for Children, in Glasgow.

Distraught parents insist switching services from Paisley will put children at risk.

However, despite meeting with families last year to hear their concerns, Health Secretary Shona Robison has rubber-stamped the closure plans, which also leave staff at Ward 15 facing an uncertain future.

Carolann Davidson, who helped lead the Kids Need Our Ward (KNOW) campaign, said those who rely on lifeline services at Ward 15 are “absolutely devastated” by the decision.

She added: “Parents have broken down out of sheer worry over what this will mean for their children.

“Kids Need Our Ward have been campaigning since August 2011 and we feel totally betrayed. Shona Robison claimed to listen to local families. She did speak to them but clearly didn’t listen.

“This decision is all about cuts – it is not about the clinical needs of the children.”

A date for the ward’s closure has yet to be confirmed.

Ms Robison has defended her decision to axe Ward 15 – insisting families will benefit from state-of-the-art treatment when the move to Glasgow takes place.

She said the Scottish Government has only agreed to switch services to the Royal Hospital for Children on the strict condition that local community paediatric care provision is “maintained and continually improved.”

Ms Robison added: “The paediatric proposals that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have put forward, backed by overwhelming clinical support, have persuaded me that this new model of local paediatric services is in the best interests of children and will ensure the majority of patient cases will continue to be seen and treated locally.”