The NHS is our most cherished public service. In everything we remain true to founding principles – publicly owned, delivered and free at the point of need. Protecting our NHS is vital and one of our first acts in government was to scrap Labour’s plans to close Ayr Accident & Emergency Unit.
Despite yearly UK cuts to Scotland’s budget, we have protected health. This year NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Budget has increased by £34.5 million to £669 million.
Across Scotland, staff numbers have increased by 11,248 under the SNP, including 2,512 more nurses, 2,581 more doctors - 26.9% up - and 1,522 more dentists, a 41.8% increase.
The SNP prioritised patients receiving the best possible care from hard-working staff in clean, well run hospitals. This resulted in a 16.3% reduction in hospital deaths. Crosshouse has the biggest decrease in Scotland; 34.2% since 2007! In Scotland A&E consultant numbers are up 178% and 94.5% of patients at A&E units are seen within four hours, compared to 86.6% in England under the Tories and 76.9% in Wales under Labour. £54.8 million has been invested in an Acute Mental Health Community Hospital, opening this year in Irvine. This will provide ‘state of the art’ facilities backed by outreach teams and see Ayrshire & Arran lead Scotland in mental health care. The number of staff looking after children with mental health problems has increased 50%. We delivered recommended pay rises for Scottish NHS staff, with nurses now paid on average £714 a year more than in England. We are integrating health and social care, developing a genuinely Community Health Service to support people living longer, often with complex conditions, delivering care as close to home as possible.
GP training places will increase from 300 to 400 annually and another 1,000 community paramedics will be trained.
Prescriptions and eye tests will remain free and community audiology services will be enhanced.
Over 4.7 million patients are now registered with an NHS dentist in Scotland, an 82% increase under the SNP.
Our Cancer Strategy will invest £100 million in over 50 actions to improve prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare, including continuation and expansion of the Detect Cancer Early programme, greater investment in radiotherapy equipment and staff.
We will recruit an extra 500 health visitors by 2018 and roll-out family nurse partnerships to support first time, vulnerable mothers under 25 and children at risk of moving into care.