Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today said that the Health Secretary should apologise to health staff after the SNP failed to publish an NHS Recovery Plan within 100 days of the new parliamentary term.
The SNP promised that their NHS recovery plan would be published by 14th August, within 100 days of the new Parliament starting. The Audit of Critical Care in NHS Scotland published this week found that during the pandemic some units were looking after three times their baseline capacity without access to additional ICU trained staff.
Mr Cole-Hamilton has previously called on the Health Secretary to ensure that the NHS recovery plan contains:
- Resources to ensure that missed targets for A&E performance, operations and screening programs are met.
- Increasing the number of diagnosis and treatment centres within health boards.
- Expanded testing capacity in every health board to meet the need to assess more people on suspicion of cancer and other life-limiting conditions.
- Listening to the views of NHS staff as to which service innovations they pioneered during the pandemic will be essential to rebuild the health service.
- Funding a bigger range of specialists, diagnosis and treatment in local communities and expanding the services available in GP surgeries.
- Training more mental health specialists.
- Specialist long Covid clinics and new in-home support.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“NHS patients and staff will be unsurprised that a government that has consistently failed to hit targets for mental health care, cancer treatment and A&E performance has also missed its target to deliver an NHS recovery plan in their first 100 days.
“With this promise now consigned to the dust, the Health Secretary should call a press conference and use it to apologise to all of the NHS staff who have been let down.
“Both the public and opposition parties recognise that this is a substantial piece of work to undertake, but it is also important that we know that the Health Secretary is committed to driving progress on their behalf.
“An apology would demonstrate that the Health Secretary recognises that his government have not yet fulfilled this promise and avoid him getting off on the wrong foot with patients and staff.
“I have set out a series of constructive proposals that I would like to see form part of the NHS Recovery Plan. From expanded testing capacity to tackling missed targets for A&E performance, operations and screening programs, we should be ensuring that a proud national institution has the support and resources it needs to recover from the pandemic.”