MP hits out over NHS beds

The SNP Government is failing the NHS in Scotland - that was the warning this week from Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson.

Ms Swinson, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, says new figures show that 1,000 hospital beds have been lost in Scotland in just three years and that Glasgow hospitals have lost 400 beds from 2011-2014.

Ms Swinson says the number of available beds in the area has fallen below 6,000.

And according to reports, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has seen the biggest drop of all Scottish health boards.

Ms Swinson said: “The SNP Government spent so long campaigning for independence that they took their eye off the ball on the health service.

“These figures show that over 1,000 beds have been lost from Scotland’s hospitals in just two years.

“The figures will be very worrying for local people.

“Our NHS is already fully stretched and the SNP’s mismanagement is not inspiring confidence.

“It’s time they stopped obsessing about independence and dealt with pressing issues in our health service. The Liberal Democrats will be keeping up the pressure on the SNP to give our NHS the support it so badly needs.”

But Ms Swinson has been accused of ‘hypocrisy’ .

A spokesperson for Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “This is shameful hypocrisy from Jo Swinson, when her own Government in Westminster has slashed Scotland’s fiscal resource budget by 10 per cent since they took office.

“Despite this the SNP Government has protected and increased NHS spending, which has seen NHS staffing in Scotland rise to record levels.

“The LibDems have helped railroad through privatisation in the NHS in England, and the people of Scotland know Jo Swinson and her colleagues can’t be trusted on the health service.”

The average number of available staffed beds in acute specialties was 16,315 in 2013/14 - a reduction of 7.1 per cent from 17,559 beds in 2004/05.