Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray and Dumfries & Galloway MP Russell Brown have backed calls for the establishment of a £100 million NHS frontline fund to deliver better care for patients and ease the pressure on frontline NHS staff.
It has become clear in recent weeks that the NHS is under extreme pressure, and the Labour politicians have accused the Scottish Government of “breaking their promise to the people of Dumfries & Galloway.”
In 2012 the Scottish Government gave patients the legal right to be seen within 12 weeks.
But since then there has been over 12,000 individual breaches of the law across Scotland, with 199 in NHS Dumfries & Galloway.
With the Scottish Budget currently being scrutinised at Holyrood, Scottish Labour have found £100 million in the budget to protect our NHS.
The funding would come from Scotland’s current Barnett bonus – the UK wide formula which delivers more money for the Scottish Government to spend on our public services, like our NHS.
The frontline fund would allow hospitals to move to a seven day a week operation, meaning that operations could be carried out at weekends. This would free up beds and reduce pressure on frontline NHS staff whilst giving patients quicker, better care.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“The pressure on our NHS is growing every single day. We need to find a system that gives people in Dumfries & Galloway the care they need whilst supporting hardworking NHS staff that are increasingly overstretched.
“In 2012 the SNP made a promise to the people of Dumfries & Galloway by legally guaranteeing a right to be seen within 12 weeks. But they have broken that promise in NHS Dumfries & Galloway nearly 200 times. That isn’t good enough and we can do better.
“By using the money generated by Scotland’s current Barnett bonus, we can use £100 million to establish a frontline fund which will ease the pressure. It would free up beds meaning quicker and better care for all patients.”
Dumfries & Galloway MP Russell Brown added:
“The Scottish Government have broken their own law 200 times in Dumfries & Galloway alone. That’s 200 families who have been severely let down by the SNP.
“The reality is that accident, illness and tragedy do not respect a 9 to 5 working week, but our hospitals are expected to get by with a skeleton staff at the weekend. We should be aiming higher for our NHS in the 21st century.
“A frontline fund makes sense for NHS staff and patients. The money is there to be used. The budget will be finalised in early February. It simply makes sense for the Scottish Government to work with Scottish Labour and deliver a frontline fund for people in Dumfries & Galloway and across Scotland.”