Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today accused Nicola Sturgeon of making "wildly unrealistic" claims about NHS capacity as new figures revealed that since she became First Minister the number of available hospital beds has fallen by 7%.
New figures from Public Health Scotland reveal that the average number of available staffed beds for acute specialties in Scotland in 2020/21 was 12,869. This is a 2.5% decrease from 13,204 in 2019/20 and a 6.9% decrease from 13,823 in 2015/16.
Alex Cole-Hamilton said:
"Year after year, fewer and fewer beds are available in our NHS. In fact Nicola Sturgeon has presided over a 7% drop since she took over as First Minister.
"Nicola Sturgeon claims that the Scottish Government are going to increase NHS activity by 10%. That is wildly unrealistic given the meagre resources they are making available to the NHS and the figures we are seeing today.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats have set out a series of practical proposals to help get the NHS back on its feet, by giving staff a greater say over which innovations pioneered during the pandemic should be maintained and ensuring that our national health service has the support and resources it needs to flourish."