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North-east MP voices concerns over reduction in hospital beds

By Kyle Ritchie

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Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid has called on the Scottish Government to give NHS Grampian more beds in its hospitals after new figures show the health board has suffered the second highest reduction in the country.

Mr Duguid said staff and patients are “paying the price” for cuts to acute beds in the north-east.

It comes as figures from Public Health Scotland show there is now an average of 143 fewer acute beds across NHS Grampian than there was last year – the second highest figure in the country behind Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

In addition, the health board has seen a reduction of 203 acute beds since 2015/16, with 351 fewer than in 2011/12.

Across Scotland, the average number of acute beds available in hospitals plummeted by 335 over the last year. The number of beds has now fallen by 954 since 2015/16 and by more than 1350 since 2011/12.

Mr Duguid said the pandemic has exposed how the Scottish Government has been slow to act to ensure hospitals in the north-east have the beds they require.

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid.
Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid.

He said: “Staff are paying the price of Scottish Government cuts in recent years to frontline acute beds across the health board.

“The pandemic has completely exposed how the SNP have been slow to act in recent years to ensure NHS Grampian have the beds they need.

“Nicola Sturgeon is continuing to dodge questions on how many beds are needed and how many have actually been delivered.

“The SNP Government is only reacting when the situation has hit breaking point with ambulance provision and accident and emergency waiting times in the north-east also in crisis.

“This simply isn’t going to cut it as the health board gears up for an extremely difficult winter in the coming months.”

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