BMA Scotland: stark warning from Audit Scotland’s latest NHS report
Responding to Audit Scotland’s report, the ‘NHS in Scotland 2018’, Chair of BMA Scotland, Dr Lewis Morrison said:
“One warning is repeated over and over again in Audit Scotland’s latest report: That the NHS is not in a financially sustainable position.
“This stark warning could not be any blunter, but will come as no surprise to frontline doctors who have faced the consequences of inadequate funding year after year. As the BMA and others have warned for some considerable time, funding in the NHS is simply not keeping pace with demand and that has pushed NHS services across the country into the parlous position this report details.
“Meanwhile medical vacancies are adding significantly to the difficulties we face and not enough is being done to attract or retain doctors working in Scotland. The report is clear that workforce planning is still inadequate and the Scottish Government need to tackle this urgently. There simply must be concerted action taken to address recruitment and retention issues for doctors, and indeed all staff, to ensure that working in Scotland’s NHS is an attractive career choice.
“The report also makes it apparent that the action needed has to be much more than simply a numbers game, focussed on a narrow range of politically driven waiting times targets for access to acute care. We need to adopt a more mature, wide ranging way to asses our NHS and the care it delivers, that trusts much more in the clinical judgement of medics. Simply piling more political pressure on the meeting of existing targets that tell us little about the overall quality of care will do nothing to put the NHS on a sustainable footing for the long term.
“At the BMA, we also agree that there needs to be much more openness on both the running of the NHS and the plans for change. Only through honest, realistic assessments of the scale of the challenge, and the change needed, can we hope to engage those who rely on the care the NHS provides in a serious debate about the future. This latest report from Audit Scotland must be the wakeup call that finally prompts the Scottish Government into credible action.”
Full report available here: http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/report/nhs-in-scotland-2018