Wielding the Axe

Monday 12th July 2010


 The Con-Dem coalition cuts were supposed to be put off until next year, we were promised.

But it doesn’t feel like that for those of us who are concerned about health services in Inverclyde.

This week, the Royal College of Nursing revealed the NHS in Scotland faces £250 million worth of cuts in this financial year.

For us locally, the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board has to find savings of £54 million and cut more than 550 nursing and midwifery posts.

If this is what we have to face up to when Scotland’s enjoys its biggest settlement since devolution, God save us next year when George Osborne’s takes his axe to our budgets

Yet the health secretary Nicola Sturgeon repeated her claims this week that she can do all this without cutting frontline services, forcing compulsory redundancies or impacting patient care

It is barely credible and it is time she came clean with the public about what she is planning.

We already know that midwife numbers are being cut, putting our maternity services under threat.

And we now know surgical beds are being lost at the Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

The centralisation agenda we resisted so effectively as a community is now looming ominously over us again.

Make no mistake; this is the biggest test of the cabinet secretary’s political career.

She must accept her responsibility that local services and patient care cannot be allow to fall under the axe, whoever wields it.

If the health secretary fails, there will be consequences for us all and it will more than just her reputation which suffers.