Policy in 'disarray'

NHS spending ban puts 17 projects at risk, says Labour

Jackie Baillie
Jackie Baillie: NHS in disarray (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish Labour has turned up the heat on the SNP-Green government by saying the two-year ban on capital spending in the National Health Service puts 17 building projects at risk.

Daily Business reported on 16 January that construction and recruitment companies were outraged at the decision to impose an immediate moratorium on NHS projects. This had forced the cancellation of contracts and job offers across the supply chain.

The Tories and Liberal Democrats said the capital spending decision, which was hidden in the 19 December Scottish Budget, was a hammer blow that would have devastating repercussions.

NHS Lothian revealed that because of the government’s freeze, work on a number of projects, such as the Eye Pavilion, would not be started “for the next two years at least”.

Health service staff have been laid off and one recruitment agency said it had been forced to withdraw offers made to job candidates.

Scottish Labour now says it has identified 17 projects across the country that are at risk or have been cancelled. These include the SNP’s flagship network of National Treatment Centres, as promised in the NHS Recovery Plan.

Commenting, Scottish Labour health spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “Scotland’s NHS is in disarray with lives being put on the line.

“These cancellations and delays to vital NHS infrastructure projects will impede the recovery of our NHS and will result in waiting times getting even longer. This is bad news for patients and bad news for staff and risks holding our NHS back for a generation.

“SNP Ministers have promised patients and staff for years that they would deliver state of the art National Treatment Centres  – indeed, the SNP put these projects front and centre of its NHS Recovery Plan for increasing capacity and tackling the backlog.

“Now we learn that, despite almost 830,000 Scots on waiting lists for tests and treatment, all bets are off.”

In response to Daily Business’s articles earlier this month, the Scottish Government said’ the capital funding position is extremely challenging”.

It said it would bring forward a revised Infrastructure Investment Plan in the spring, alongside the medium term financial strategy, at which point it hoped that the fiscal outlook will be clearer.

Projects identified by Scottish Labour as at risk or cancelled

Project NameHealth BoardStatus 
National Treatment Centre – Ayrshire and ArranNHS Ayrshire and ArranDelayed/ Under threat
Lochgelly Health CentreNHS FifePaused/ Under threat
Kincardine Health CentreNHS FifePaused/Under threat
Aberdeen Baird Family Hospital and ANCHOR CentreNHS GrampianDelayed
Institute of NeurosciencesNHS Greater Glasgow and ClydeUnder threat
Lochaber RedesignNHS HighlandUnder threat
Caithness Redesign – Caithness General HospitalNHS HighlandUnder threat

Caithness Redesign – Community Hubs
NHS HighlandUnder threat
Raigmore HospitalNHS HighlandUnder threat
Monklands Replacement ProjectNHS LanarkshireDelayed/ Under threat
National Treatment Centre – LanarkshireNHS LanarkshireDelayed/Under threat
National Treatment Centre – LothianNHS LothianDelayed/ Under threat
Eye PavilionNHS LothianPaused/ Under threat
Edinburgh Cancer CentreNHS LothianPaused/ Under threat
East Calder Medical CentreNHS LothianPaused/ Under threat
National Treatment Centre – TaysideNHS TaysideDelayed/ Under threat
Barra & Vatersay community campusNHS Western IslesCancelled

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