The SNP’s “blame game” on the NHS will be attacked in Holyrood this week, following more revelations about Scotland’s ailing health service.
The Scottish Conservatives will use their party business on Wednesday to highlight a series of examples from across the country where SNP ministers have abandoned responsibility and instead hung health boards out to dry.
Last week, health secretary Jeane Freeman shirked accountability for the Sick Kids fiasco in Edinburgh, insisting the decade-long saga was the fault of NHS Lothian chiefs.
The nationalist government has also been quick to blame the NHS in Glasgow and private companies for the farce surrounding the £800 million Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
And over the weekend, spiralling costs at a new hospital and cancer centre in Aberdeen were also revealed, something ministers in Edinburgh have refused to take ownership of.
That follows a bullying crisis at NHS Highland, major governance problems in NHS Tayside and financial meltdowns at other health boards including NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said, after more than 12 years in charge of Scotland’s NHS, it was time for the SNP to take direct responsibility for these issues.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:
“At least half of Scotland’s mainland health boards have suffered major problems in recent years, yet the SNP government takes no responsibility whatsoever. The nationalists only want to play a blame game.
“We’ve got major construction issues in Lothian, Glasgow and Grampian.
“That’s on top of governance chaos in Tayside, a bullying crisis in the Highlands and financial fiascos in Ayrshire and Arran.
“The SNP has had complete control over health for more than 12 years in Scotland.
“This can’t all just be the fault of individual health boards - it all comes home to this nationalist administration.
“And that’s what happens when you have a Scottish Government which instead of focusing on things that matter, has instead prioritised Scottish independence.
“It is long past time SNP ministers got a grip on the growing problems facing Scotland’s health services.
“As each SNP health secretary comes and goes its clear they have no new ideas or vision for our Scottish NHS. Just bluster, blame and deflection.”
Notes to editors:
Below are some of the recent problems to have hit Scotland’s health boards:
NHS Lothian – the £150m new Sick Kids hospital was again delayed last week, and now won’t open until autumn next year at the very earliest: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-49673225
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – despite being billed as a “super hospital”, the Quuen Elizabeth has been beset by problems, including patient deaths and building issues: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-47495067
NHS Grampian – over the weekend, it was revealed a new hospital cancer centre will cost £50m more than anticipated: https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/cost-of-hospital-spirals-by-50m/
NHS Highland – bullying became so bad at the health board the Scottish Government had to commission an official report: https://www.gov.scot/publications/report-cultural-issues-related-allegations-bullying-harassment-nhs-highland/
NHS Tayside – governance issues at the health board led to major changes at the top of the organisation: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-43669759
NHS Ayrshire and Arran – the health board has had a well-documented financial crisis: https://www.ardrossanherald.com/news/16957623.nhs-ayrshire-and-arran-finance-crisis-to-continue/