CRISIS: 10 announcements the Health Secretary should make immediately to help end NHS chaos 

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today set out a series of proposals to support NHS patients and staff that he urged the Scottish Health Secretary to immediately adopt.

The proposals are as follows:

  • Finally strike a fresh pay deal that guarantees better working conditions and safe staffing levels with NHS staff representatives.
  • Outline specific dates by which long waits for key procedures will have been cleared and replace the toothless treatment time guarantee with real time information on how waits for operations and diagnostic procedures.
  • Withdrawing legislation for a centralised power grab of social care and instead investing that money into services and staff.
  • A burnout prevention strategy to guarantee shift lengths and time off. This will help to stop the surge of staff leaving the NHS.
  • A staff assembly that puts the expertise of frontline staff at the forefront of designing a route out of the crisis.
  • An urgent inquiry into the wave of avoidable deaths linked to the crisis in emergency care.
  • Finally invest in the hosts of new training places that will be necessary for a real recovery plan” including increase the number of training places for GPs, consultants, psychiatrists and counsellors.
  • Embed more nurses, mental health professionals, dieticians and physiotherapists with GPs so that people can get a wider range of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care within their community. This would reduce pressure on GPs and on our hospitals and paramedics, saving crucial time and money elsewhere in the NHS.
  • More counsellors in schools and a single point of contact for those on waiting lists to reduce the pressure on CAMHS services.
  • A rewrite of the NHS Recovery Plan so that dentists are properly recognised and for the reform of the funding structure so that dentists can return to taking on NHS patients.

Outlining the proposals, Mr Cole-Hamilton, right,  said: “The Health Secretary seems out of ideas for tackling the winter crisis so here is a list of ideas to get him started.

“It’s clear that whatever the Health Secretary might say, staff on the frontline realise this is an emergency.

“The Royal College of Emergency Medicine is warning that more than 40 patients per week are dying unnecessarily. That’s the harsh reality of life under this incompetent Scottish Government.

“These proposals are far from a complete recipe for helping our NHS to recover from 15 years of SNP mismanagement. That will only come with a government that ensures the long-term future of the service is secure and trusts the professionals who know the service best to lead the way.”


  1. Out of ideas for tackling this winter crisis says Mr Cole Hamilton.

    Strange that he doesn’t mention the crisis of cold homes due to people being disconnected or unable to afford their bills

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