Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Alex Rowley joined campaigners in Fife this weekend to highlight concerns over the management and funding of NHS services and warned that the government in Edinburgh must ‘get a grip’ on the challenges facing our NHS.
This in the same week as Audit Scotland issued one of its most critical reports ever published on the NHS in Scotland warning that ‘funding is not keeping pace with increasing demand and patient need’ The hard hitting report also said that the NHS was experiencing a ‘workforce crisis’ resulting in NHS Boards having huge increases on spending for agency staff including nurses, doctors and consultants.
Mr Rowley said; “This report confirms what we have been experiencing here in Fife for some time. Staff are run off their feet trying to meet demand for services whilst the Board have been unable to recruit enough consultants, GPs and nurses piling more and more pressure on a system that is stretched to the limit.
The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP has been a constant campaigner for the NHS and continued; “I always try to focus on what can be done to make things better but I have to say until Nicola Sturgeon and her government recognise their failure over ten years to implement workforce planning and its impact which is massive shortages in doctors, nurses, consultants and GPs then they won’t properly address it. Likewise, they have failed in getting resources into community care whilst continuing with more and more targets on acute care and now expect Boards to make massive cuts in hospital budgets”.
Mr Rowley is due to meet the Cabinet Secretary for Health in the coming month to discuss the different pressures on the NHS Fife budget and says he will be putting forward a number of proposals for assisting with the growing pressures.
Photo shows Alex Rowley with campaigning in Fife at the weekend.