First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf, Health Secretary.

By Bill Heaney 

Jackie Baillie blasted both the Health Secretary and First Minister for failing our NHS as a report card highlighting the dismal performance by the SNP Government is published by Scottish Labour. 

The SNP have failed in key waiting times targets including A&E waiting times, delayed discharge, CAMHS waiting times, cancer treatment times and GP waits among others. 

This has led to chaos in our NHS and puts patients in danger. It has also ultimately led to the looming strikes by nurses in the New Year. 

Jackie Baillie said: “Over the festive period, thousands of dedicated NHS staff will be working while most of us will be able to relax and spend time with our family and friends. Something we have been craving over the last two and a half years.  

Labour spokesperson Jackie Baillie and LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton.

“They all deserve our thanks for the work they are doing to keep the NHS going over winter, and all year round. 

“But what our health service heroes deserve is much more than just thanks. They deserve better pay and conditions.  

“Trade unions are not just striking about pay. They are warning about patient safety and conditions in our hospitals. 

“More than a year ago the Health Secretary announced a catch-up plan for our NHS. Instead of improvements, all we are seeing is things getting worse for patients.  

“In August 2021 when the catch-up plan was announced, 76 percent of people going to A&E were seen within four hours but that has now fallen to 62 percent.  

“In July to September 2021, 83 percent of people were seen within the 62-day standard for cancer treatment but that has now dropped to just 74.7 percent. 

“Patients and staff are crying out for this Government to get a grip of this failed catch-up plan.

“Failure has consequences. Patients are being asked to accept the unacceptable. Staff are being asked to do the impossible.  

“Let’s look at this Government’s report card against their own performance standards: 

“A&E waiting times – failed. Delayed discharge – failed. CAMHS waiting times – failed. 12 weeks first outpatient appointment – failed. 18 weeks referral to treatment – failed. Cancer treatment times – failed. Detect cancer early – failed. GP waits – failed. Treatment time guarantee – failed. 

“When it comes to the NHS, the First Minister and this Health Secretary have serially failed.”

Meanwhile, responding to the news that the Scottish Government will impose its pay offer on nurses, despite it already being democratically rejected by staff, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:  “Relations between the Health Secretary and NHS staff are at an all-time low.

“This imposition by the SNP/Green Government is an insult to democracy and all those staff who took the decision together to reject it.

“Nurses have gone above and beyond in recent years to keep all of us safe. They need a proper pay agreement, better working conditions and safe staffing levels.”

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