Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has backed party leader Jim Murphy’s calls for a £100 million Frontline Fund to help ease the pressure on Scotland’s NHS. This follows shocking stories emerging in recent weeks about the state of the health service.
Ms McTaggart made her calls during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on the Scottish Government’s ‘2020 Vision’ for healthcare.
In recent weeks, news has emerged that the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow has used a portakabin to deal with overspill from their busy A&E wards. Meanwhile, in Paisley, the Royal Alexandra Hospital took to Facebook looking for volunteers to help with the pressure in A&E.
In response to this, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy called on the Scottish Government to establish a £100 million Frontline Fund, paid for through Scotland’s Barnett consequentials. This would allow hospitals facing extra pressure to move to a 7 day a week operation, meaning they would be able to deliver better care, with planned surgery at the weekends and diagnostics in the evening.
Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said:
“Behind each of those horror stories is a vulnerable patient and their family who are suffering, which is why we need to take urgent action. We know that the NHS in Scotland is facing significant pressures while having to make major changes to services to meet future needs.
“Although I welcome the fact that the Government has committed £100 million over the next three years to reduce delayed discharge numbers, I believe that we need additional budget to help deal with the increasing pressures on A and E services. That would provide real help to front-line staff, and I urge the Scottish Government to consider our proposals. It is imperative that the NHS gets the support that it needs, so that Scots can get the care that they deserve.
“It is clear that our NHS faces significant challenges over the coming years, no matter which party is in power. I will always be proud of our NHS and I will champion its amazing staff but, without the necessary resources, they will not be able to provide the highest quality of care that they want to provide and that our patients deserve.”
You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here