Health and Wellbeing

The Health Service has seen some important improvements over the past three years including the protection of many vital local facilities, a reduction in waiting times and a big fall in the rates of hospital acquired infections. 

We know, of course, that there is more to do and that is why we will protect the NHS budget in Scotland for the duration of the next Parliamentary term - ensuring frontline health services are protected in real terms and allow us to drive forward continuous improvement in the quality of healthcare services in the interests of our economy and the health and wellbeing of communities across Scotland. 

That will not mean that the NHS won't have to make efficiency savings over the next few years as the costs of delivering health care continue to rise. We will take steps to ensure that the costs of management in the NHS are kept to a minimum and that money is used efficiently and effectively to protect the standards and quality of patient care.

Our record: 
  • Keeping health free – we have abolished prescription charges, the tax on the sick, and we have also abolished car parking charges in NHS hospitals brought in under the previous Labour/Lib-Dem Executive
  • Saving local health services – This includes keeping A&E units open at Monklands and Ayr, keeping open maternity wards in Inverclyde and Dumbarton, safeguarding the future of the Vale of Leven and opening a new dental school in Aberdeen
  • Lower Waiting Times - on 31 March 2010, 99.5% of patients had waited 8 weeks or less for inpatient or day case treatment - bettering the national standard of 12 weeks.
  • Hospital Acquired Infections are at a record low: C. Diff rates are more than 75% down on 2007. No more private cleaning contracts in NHS hospitals.

A Healthier Scotland

  • Protecting the health service - We are protecting spending in the NHS over the next few years - with an additional £826 million to the health revenue budget, allowing us to continue efforts to improve healthcare in Scotland.
  • Shorter waiting times - We will deliver an 18 week referral to treatment standard, ensuring prompt and effective diagnosis.
  • One stop cancer diagnosis - As part of our plans to ensure shorter cancer waiting times.
  • Cleaner and safer hospitals - We have set up a new watchdog to keep our wards clean and will use this to build on the recent big falls in hospital acquired infections.
  • More flexible access to healthcare - We want services to more closely reflect the realities of family and working life.