Time to focus on the real issues

Monday 24th November 2014


Nicola Sturgeon’s appointment as First Minister dominated the news agenda last week. But below the headlines there are a number of issues that show she will have to hit the ground running, particularly with regard to our National Health Service.

Just recently an investigation conducted by one newspaper revealed that three thousand patients had been treated in the wrong hospital department throughout the summer months hampering their recovery.

Further to this, the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate’s latest inspection into Hairmyres hospital in NHS Lanarkshire, found numerous pieces of patient equipment had been contaminated and significant amounts of dust and grime in wards because cleaning procedures were was not being properly followed.

And it emerged only a few days ago, that the new system that was promised over a year ago by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Alex Neil, which would ensure better access to medicines for people suffering from cancer and rare diseases has still not come into effect across Scotland.

For too long politics has been dominated by the constitution. The new First Minister has it in her power to return the focus of Parliament to normal politics and concentrate on the day-to-day issues that matter to the people of Scotland, not only with regard to our National Health Service, but with respect to jobs, low pay, college places and crime.

In Parliament last week, she sent out a strong signal that this was her intention. If our new First Minister achieves this, she will certainly have my support and would deserve the support of all the political parties.