HEALTH: 380,000 operations lost since Covid shows NHS Recovery Plan not working

On every metric this Government is failing our NHS

LibDem leader Alex Cole Hamilton and SNP leadership candidate Humza Yousaf.

By Bill Heaney

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called for the Scottish Government to take “real action” on NHS backlogs.

A new Liberal Democrat analysis revealed that 384,023 operations have been lost since the pandemic first began, highlighting once again that the Cabinet Secretary, Humza Yousaf,  needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new NHS Recovery Plan.

Scottish Liberal Democrat analysis of Public Health Scotland figures has compared average pre-Covid levels of NHS activity with the number of operations scheduled over the past two years.

The analysis also showed there was a 38% decrease between the number of operations scheduled in January and the average pre-pandemic levels.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “As NHS backlogs deepen, it’s clear the Health Secretary’s NHS recovery plan has done nothing to make the situation better for patients waiting on operations. It’s time for real action, now.

“Humza Yousaf is asking people to trust that as First Minister he will be able to do better, with virtually no evidence to back up his claim.

“People need to know that they can get the treatment they need when they need it. But on every metric this Government is failing our NHS and those who rely on it.

“If we are to have any hope that the tide can turn on this crisis, the next First Minister must scrap the current Recovery Plan and devise a new strategy urgently.”

Meanwhile, responding to figures that show almost 6,000 vacancies across nursing and midwifery, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has warned they, “will only get worse” if action is not taken urgently.

The data released by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) provides a quarterly update of the NHS workforce, as at 31 December 2022. It shows 5,779 nursing and midwifery vacancies across NHS Scotland.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:  “As well as a failing NHS recovery plan, we are seeing a lack of proper workforce planning from the Cabinet Secretary.

“Nurses are feeling so burned out and undervalued that many of them are deciding to leave the profession. These figures will only get worse if the Government continue in their lack of action.

“The SNP/Green administration has been stubborn when it comes to easing the pressures, repeatedly opposing Scottish Liberal Democrat calls for a Burnout Prevention Strategy and ignoring our calls for an NHS Health and Social Care Staff Assembly that values their expertise.

“Nurses have gone over and above the call of duty for too long. They need new hope. Whether he is First Minister or Health Secretary, it’s time for Humza Yousaf to go back to the drawing board and come up with a proper workforce strategy that will boost recruitment, retention and safe staffing.”

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