Politics

‘Regurgitated pledges from SNP!’ Scottish Tory slams Sturgeon’s NHS recovery plan

Nicola Sturgeon 'regurgitated SNP pledges' says Wells

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Her comments come as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Secretary Humza Yousaf launched the £1billion NHS recovery plan on Wednesday, promising to tackle enormous backlogs that have built up during the Covid-19 pandemic and increase NHS capacity by 10%. But speaking to Scotland’s current affairs show The Nine, Ms Wells, the Conservative health spokeswoman slammed the plans as more “headlines” for the SNP in a “flimsy pamphlet”. Her comments come as Scottish Labour also hit out at the plans claiming they do not go far enough.

Ms Wells said: “It’s a headline grabber, of course it is, we welcome all investment into the NHS, front-line staff deserve every penny of it.

“But I think the plan itself was something that was rushed together with regurgitated pledges from the SNP!”

Wells added: “If this flimsy pamphlet is the best that Humza Yousaf can come up with, Scotland’s NHS is in real trouble.

“This delayed plan is mostly a lift from their manifesto and a regurgitation of undelivered promises from failed SNP health ministers of old.

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Ms Wells went on to slam the Scottish Government for not mentioning any treatment of long Covid as well as highlighting how no extra money for drug and alcohol treatment or funding for A&E has been made availiable in the plans.

Her comments come despite adherence to the four-hour standard falling to the lowest levels since records began this month, according to figures released on Tuesday.

It comes as Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie branded the plan “as underwhelming as it is overdue” in a fierce slap down of Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership.

Ms Baillie said: “Frankly, this plan does not even begin to chart a path to the full remobilisation of our NHS. Targets promised before the election have disappeared from the plan,” she added.

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“Most disappointing of all is that the SNP has entirely failed to comprehend the size of the NHS backlog.

“In this plan the majority of the new national treatment centres will not be opened until the second half of the parliament. This is simply not good enough.”

She stressed: “Our NHS is facing a real crisis due to the SNP’s catastrophic failure to remobilise our NHS. Services are being cut, A&E is in crisis and hospitals are at breaking point.

“What frontline NHS workers and the people of Scotland need is urgent action from the SNP, not PR stunts and half-baked plans.”

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The SNP claim the new NHS Recovery Plan “will shape new, sustainable ways of working and support our frontline to use the latest developments in medical science”.

The party website adds: “It will outline how we will increase the activity of our NHS to help treat those who have had their care interrupted by the pandemic and tackle excessively long waits.

“We will support a 10% increase in inpatient, day case, and outpatient activity to address the delays in treatment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic – including maximizing theatre usage and capacity in sites like East Lothian Community Hospital, and making use of mobile units while new facilities are built.

“We will invest £10 million for new diagnostic techniques and the rollout of the redesign of urgent care.”

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