Joe has revealed that NHS Ayrshire and Arran are going to be making £30million of cuts in 2016/17 - despite the SNP’s claims that they are protecting NHS funding.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran will see an increase of 1.7% in their budget for 2016/17 but, due to ‘service pressures’, they are putting in place an ‘efficiency programme’ that will result in 5% cuts. That, in cash terms, equates to £30million.
News of these figures come on the back of press reports that NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s board was told in December that the health board had overspent on staffing by £3.8million as they had to get in extra cover to deliver ‘safe levels of service’ in ‘over-occupied wards’. Board members were told that NHS Ayrshire and Arran would need to cut ‘nursing levels’ in acute and mental health wards and deliver further cuts ‘as a matter of urgency’.
There are also reports of around 30 high level doctor posts vacant in NHS Ayrshire and Arran – posts that are being covered by expensive, £500 a day, locums.
Commenting on these issues, Joe said;
“We need the SNP to drop the spin and to start taking seriously the challenges that our NHS faces.”
“£30million is a very significant amount of money and I am sure that cuts of this level will be a concern to all who work in our NHS, and indeed people throughout our communities who rely on it.”
“The reality is that, If NHS funding went up by £1 annually then each year would deliver record health spending. Instead of looking for good headlines we need a Scottish Government which is focusing on delivering the quality public services that we need and that means having an honest debate about what level of investment our much loved NHS needs.”
“That this £30million cut programme comes on back of ‘urgent’ nursing cuts in recent months is very concerning whilst the inability to fill top posts is costing the health board thousands of pounds by paying for £500 a day locums.”
“It all points to a local health service that is not in very good health.”
“Labour created the NHS, Labour improved the NHS in Government and Labour will once again protect the NHS if elected in May.”