Responding to the publication of the Scottish Government’s 26-page NHS Recovery Plan, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“With A&E departments more stretched than ever and more than 200,000 operations lost to the pandemic, patients and NHS staff deserved more than wafer thin commitments and re-packaged promises. The government is chancing on money, redesign and technology to dig them out of a hole.
“This is clear in the plan’s focus on supressing demand and shifting patients online. Doctors have told us that isn’t without its risks. Patients shouldn’t be discouraged from treatment.
“It has been a decade since Nicola Sturgeon gave patients a legal guarantee that people would be treated within 12 weeks. It was breached 300,000 times pre-pandemic. Today that law didn’t even get a mention. Patients need new hope.
“GPs are being asked to do more but with the same increase in capacity that was planned pre-pandemic. It doesn’t add up. This plan doesn’t even know whether a key recruitment target is 2026 or 2028 – it can’t be both.
“Earlier this year Scottish Liberal Democrats won the biggest investment in mental health since devolution. We will hold the Scottish Government to this latest in a long line of commitments to end the terrible waits for mental health treatment. The route must not involve parking children and young people on lesser interventions. They deserve the best care possible.”