Friday, May 18, 2012

SNP Minister Nicola Sturgeon needs to get a grip of the Health portfolio as 1,300 Scots die a year through Scotland failings on trauma care provision

Dear All

It was once the flagship policy of the Scottish National Party in Government at Holyrood with Nicola Sturgeon at the helm, now it is like an out of control super tanker as Nicola Sturgeon has abandoned the helm.

A few posts ago, I highlighted the senior flaw in the thinking of SNP Government Ministers who are effectively abandoned their portfolios leaving their departments rudderless causing blowback.

Health from 2007 to 2011 was a flagship SNP Policy.

It isn’t anymore; Scotland is lagging behind other developed countries in its provision of care for victims of major trauma.

I have continually blogged on what the second term of the SNP Government should have been, public sector reform.

Now we are seeing in the NHS that certain provisions of the Health service need to radically overhaul its approach, the warning coming from medical experts.

George Laird was right again, Alex Salmond needs to send SNP Government Ministers back to their desks.

The extent of the major trauma scandal is in a report by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh who state that death rates for severely injured patients who are alive when reaching hospital is 40 per cent higher in the UK than in North America.

Down south England has reformed its healthcare policy to improve survival rates.

But in Scotland because the SNP Government is totally paralysed and fixated on one issue, the situation in Scotland has not yet been addressed.

People are dying because Nicola Sturgeon is spending too much time away from her desk.

The death toll speaks volumes that urgent action is required, major trauma is the commonest killer of children and adults under 45.

1,300 deaths every year in Scotland; how many could be saved if the health brief was managed more tightly?

The Royal College of Surgeons report does the SNP Government a service, they highlight what I have already blogged on, the work must get done and it must get done now.

If the Royal College of Surgeons believe that major trauma treatment is best served being carried out at a small number of dedicated major trauma centres then the Health Minister needs to make sure she is available to hear their case and act on it.

Ian Ritchie, vice president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said Scotland had to wake up the fact its major trauma care was not as effective as it should be.

He said:

“The model recommended by our report is equivalent to that in North America and the one being adopted in England. Major trauma treatment requires a precise set of skills and knowledge, it also needs to pull expertise from a wide range of specialities and resources. Under the current system in Scotland, major trauma patients are sent for treatment at the nearest local hospitals which may not have access to all the resources and specialisms needed.”

Margaret Watt, chair of the Scotland Patients’ Association, said: “This is nothing short of scandalous”.

She added:

“We have known for some time the health service in Scotland is lacking in specialist care”.

So, why isn’t Nicola Sturgeon doing anything about this, why are the specialists who work in the frontline being ignored?

Nicola Sturgeon said:

“The report recommends that further research is required and we will explore further with the College possible ways of enhancing the current service as part of our commitment to continuously improve the quality of services for the people of Scotland.”

Every Government department which remains rudderless and devoid of leadership builds the case for not voting for independence.

Its time Nicola Sturgeon step back from celebrity politics and took control of the health brief in the same manner as she displayed pre 2011 Holyrood election.

It is time the Scottish Government appointed junior ministers in key portfolios such as Health, Law and order, and education.

George Laird was right again and ahead of the curve.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Barbarian of the North said...

I too thought that Health was the SNP's success. I am now rapidly changing my view.

This is based on personal experience.

Arrival at A&E means a wait of up to 4 hours. This week, a friend waited for 12 hours before they could not find a bed.

Something has gone drastically wrong.