SNP must use extra funds to better support NHS Borders

Local MP John Lamont is calling for extra funding for NHS Borders, after new figures show the health board is cancelling operations and failing to meet key A&E targets.

New figures show that in August 2019, 58% of all operations cancelled at NHS Borders were cancelled for clinical reasons by the hospital. Clinical reasons include a shortage of staff, equipment or operating space. Overall nearly one in ten operations were cancelled by the hospital, the highest figures since March 2018.

Figures also show that in the same month NHS Borders missed a key A&E target of ensuring that 95% of patients are seen within 4 hours, for the second month in a row.

NHS Borders has recently announced it is facing a £13.8m deficit, despite receiving bailouts from the Scottish Government the past two years.

Following the Chancellor’s Spending Review, the Scottish Government will be given £1.2 billion in extra funding next year, due to increased spending on health, education and other public services in England.

Local MP John Lamont has said this new money must be used to properly support struggling health boards like NHS Borders.

John Lamont MP said: “These figures are yet further evidence that despite the hard work of our local doctors and nurses, NHS Borders remains underfunded.

“Cancelling an operation is frustrating for a patient but it is also a waste of resource for the health board. These figures show that far too many operations are being cancelled because of a lack of resources. Now that A&E waiting times are falling below the target, this really should be setting off alarm bells in the Scottish Government.

“With more than £1.2 billion to spend next year alone, the SNP has no excuse but to properly invest in our NHS.

“Over the past few years NHS Borders have been working incredibly hard to bring their financial situation under control. Rural health boards across Scotland face unique challenges in the cost of delivering health care and attracting staff which is why they need to receive the lion’s share of this extra funding.”