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Call for action to help NHS Ayrshire as services struggle during pandemic

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called for immediate action to help the local NHS, as health and care services struggle during the pandemic.

On Friday, East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership released a statement saying that services are “extremely stretched” and that as a result, the partnership was being forced to prioritise the most urgent cases.

And NHS Ayrshire & Arran said last week they were operating under ‘emergency planning conditions’ as they try to deal with a sharp rise in hospital admissions due to Covid-19.

Mr Smyth said: “While most Covid restrictions have now been lifted across Scotland, our NHS is still suffering because of this terrible pandemic.

“Even before Covid, our amazing health service staff were dealing with huge waiting lists but the pandemic has exacerbated that problem and put many clinics, operations and treatments on hold for months.

“As a result, the NHS is being forced to play catch-up and we are seeing on a weekly basis that some NHS boards are still being forced to cancel routine operations and clinics.

Call for action to help NHS Ayrshire as services struggle during pandemic

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“I fear that it will take years for the NHS to be able to get back to the waiting time levels we saw before Covid.

“The Scottish Government has been too slow in implementing a recovery plan for the NHS and putting in place the resources needed to get services back up and running. The time for words is long over, we need action.”

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth and (right) Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock
South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth and (right) Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our NHS Recovery Plan commits more than £1 billion of targeted investment for the recovery and renewal of Scotland’s health service and 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 sets out our aim to not only restore activity to previous levels, but, crucially, to exceed them.

“We are determined to achieve this – but the current spike in cases underlines the fact that the pandemic is not over, and that Covid-19 and other pressures will continue to impact the NHS for some time.”

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