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ELECTION 2021: NHS staff 'deserve more than a round of applause'


By Kyle Ritchie

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THIS last year has been a struggle for NHS and care staff, says Liberal Democrat candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Alison Simpson.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Alison Simpson.
Liberal Democrat candidate for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Alison Simpson.

At every level they’ve been pushed to the limit. Many have cancelled leave and worked round the clock.

They’ve found creative solutions to myriad problems. They deserve so much more than a round of applause.

The Scottish NHS was understaffed and lacked resources to meet waiting times for years before Covid struck.

The same amount of psychiatrists are training to work with young people as there were five years ago. No wonder waiting times are so long.

Coming out of the pandemic, Scottish Liberal Democrats will listen to professionals and patient groups to plan long-term recovery.

We supported a Scottish budget resourcing a pay deal that recognises staff commitment, and the need to make appealing long-term careers in the NHS. We also secured new mental health support for them.

We want to reverse SNP centralisation, rebuilding and delivering services more locally. Travelling long distances for treatment and diagnosis can pile on stress when life is quite tough enough already.

We’ll take forward positive innovations that Covid has forced upon us, like video diagnosis and support, which can speed up delivery of more local services, but we want want a bigger range of specialists, diagnosis and treatment in local communities, and to expand the services available in GP surgeries.

We’ll empower pharmacists to do more prescribing, using secure health records.

We’ll include more training placements in rural communities - giving medical students a taste for the benefits of the work.

We want to reward care workers with national pay bargaining; a career ladder that boosts their skills and pay at every step.

The position is urgent. Instead of listening to bickering about the timing of a referendum, we’ll get on with the job.

Scottish Liberal Democrats will put recovery first.


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