More than £1 billion to improve NHS care and tackle backlog in Scotland

More than £1 billion to improve NHS care and tackle backlog in Scotland

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The Scottish Government has published its NHS Recovery Plan, committing more than £1 billion of targeted investment for the recovery and renewal of Scotland’s health service.

It sets out key actions for the next five years to help address backlogs in healthcare and increase capacity by at least 10 per cent.

The Plan, which the Government committed to publish within its first 100 days, outlines a range of reforms across primary and acute NHS services to help recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and get everyone the treatment they need as quickly as possible.

A key aim in primary care is to restore face-to-face GP consultations as quickly and safely as possible, while ensuring everyone can continue to make use of eHealth services like NHS Near Me, if that is their preference. We are also bolstering the NHS Pharmacy First scheme to enhance the range of services patients can access from community pharmacists without having to go to their GP.

In acute care we are increasing capacity for inpatients, day cases, outpatients and diagnostics. Prior to the pandemic, Scotland’s NHS carried out approximately 270,000 inpatient/day cases per year, and approximately 1.4 million outpatient appointments. Through this Plan we will work to increase NHS capacity substantially beyond these levels.

A priority within the Plan is to focus on the health and wellbeing of NHS staff who have given so much, particularly during the pandemic.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, “This Plan will drive the recovery of our NHS, not just to its pre-pandemic level but beyond.

“As we maintain our resilience against COVID-19 and other pressures, the Scottish Government is providing targeted investment to increase capacity, reform the system and ultimately get everyone the treatment they need as quickly as possible.

“Tackling the backlog of care is essential and will be a priority. But we want to go further than that and deliver an NHS that is innovative, sustainable and stronger than ever before.”

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.