MSP slams NHS Tayside’s ‘disgraceful’ handling of Bridge of Earn GP surgery situation
Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith has branded NHS Tayside’s handling of the impending closure of the Bridge of Earn GP surgery as “disgraceful.”
The MSP criticised the total lack of communication from the health body after it was revealed earlier this month that two GPs from the surgery had handed in their resignation, and she has also slammed them for their unwillingness to meet elected officials and local residents as a matter of urgency.
Liz Smith, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, contacted NHS Tayside on Thursday following news of the surgery closure and invited health officials to attend a meeting on Monday in Bridge of Earn with herself, members of Earn Community Council and the community.
However, NHS Tayside have not confirmed if they can attend the meeting, leaving elected officials and residents in limbo about the whole situation.
The matter came to a head when residents found about the decision to close the surgery on social media yesterday (Thursday). A note had been posted on the window of the GP surgery but no notification had been
issued by NHS Tayside to inform local residents.
NHS Tayside have said they are in the process of writing to all 3,500 registered patients of the surgery in a bid to allocate them a new GP. However, Liz Smith has slammed the health body over what she sees as a total lack of communication on their part.
Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife said:
“The impending closure of the Bridge of Earn surgery is bad enough but the manner with which NHS Tayside has handled this matter is nothing short of disgraceful.
“I am not the only elected member who has made several efforts over several weeks to meet with NHS Tayside to discuss this matter and find an acceptable resolution.
“We have been constantly rebuffed and told everything was ‘in hand to find a sustainable solution.’ That is clearly not the case and l feel so sorry for all the patients who have been left in the dark.
“There has been a complete lack of transparency which is the opposite of NHS Tayside’s own guidelines about community engagement.
“I have been in touch with Earn Community Council and have made representations to NHS Tayside that they should meet with the local community as a matter of extreme urgency. Nothing less is acceptable.”
Keith Brown’s deficit claims mean SNP finding £7.2bn
Claims made today by the SNP’s deputy leader that Scotland could get its deficit down to three per cent would mean finding savings of more than £7 billion a year, it has emerged.
Writing in the National, Keith Brown said he believed it would take only three years to reduce the current black hole level of seven per cent – which is the highest in Europe.
However, based on this week’s Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures, achieving that saving would mean tax rises and schools, hospitals and infrastructure cuts to the tune of £7.2 billion.
That’s because the current gap between what Scotland raises in tax and spends on public services is currently £12.6 billion.
Reducing that from seven per cent to three per cent, as Mr Brown suggests, would mean a deficit level of just £5.4 billion, a difference of £7.2 billion.
Nicola Sturgeon’s separation plans came under more pressure this week after the GERS statistics revealed the “union dividend” is worth £2000 to every man, woman and child in Scotland.
Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron said:
“These claims could be laughed off were it not for the fact they’ve been made by the deputy leader of Scotland’s governing party.
“Presumably this means it’s now SNP policy to seek ongoing tax hikes worth more than £7 billion, or cutting public services by an equivalent amount.
“Put simply, that means devastating cuts to schools, hospitals, councils and infrastructure - at the same time as hiking personal taxes for millions of ordinary working Scots.
“Neither is an acceptable option, which is why the nationalists must take the threat of another independence referendum off the table.
“No-one thought the SNP could get more fanciful and deluded than its infamous and derided White Paper.
“But Keith Brown is now doing exactly that.”
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