My speech on Health & Social Care in the Queen’s Speech Debate 16/1/20

Less than 3 months after the last Queen’s Speech, which was used as a party political broadcast by the Tories, Health and Social Care was again on the agenda today.

Whilst, I welcome some of the initiatives put forward, it is hard to have faith in what the UK Government propose when Boris Johnson’s previous promise of 40 new hospitals for NHS England turned out to be 6 and their plan to recruit 6,000 extra GPs when they failed to recruit the 5,000 that were promised during the General Election in 2015! Indeed, England now has 1000 fewer GPs.

While NHS Scotland has challenges too, it is leading the UK in Emergency Care performance, Health and Social Care funding and provision of services such as free prescriptions and free personal care.

In addition, the Scottish Patient Safety Programme is an international trailblazer, having reduced post-surgical deaths by a remarkable 37%. For all his talk about Patient Safety, previous UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt saw the WHO checklist in action on a visit to Scotland but never made it obligatory in NHS England.