Scottish NHS performance holding up despite massive increase in demand and Tory austerity cuts


Audit Scotland’s report today has been seized upon by our Nomedia to continue their proxy war against the SNP Government. See below for their all-too-predictable ‘perspective’. It is all a matter of perspective. From my perspective here’s the first part of the bigger story. Look at the above graph from the report.

In the 11-year period since the SNP came to power, there has been a staggering 34.9% increase in demand for inpatient appointments and, in only one year since 2017, there has been a proportionally even greater increase of 11.9%. All of this has taken place against a background of general funding cuts to the Scottish government’s budget. See this statement for just the year ahead:

The UK Government’s budget does not represent a good deal for Scotland, as a consequence of a real terms cut to Scotland’s revenue block grant of over £200m next year.

Commenting on today’s UK Government budget Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said that Scotland is being “short changed”.

Despite a commitment of over £300m resource funding for the NHS in England this year, Scotland will receive only £8m in consequentials in 2018-19 due to UK cuts elsewhere.

Of the additional money the UK Government announced as being added to Scotland’s budget, over half of it – £1.1bn – are financial transactions which the Scottish Government cannot spend on frontline public services, and which have to be repaid to the Treasury.

The performance of SNHS has fallen since 2016/17 by in most cases, very small and in nearly every case, by single, figures, against this background of a double-figure increase for inpatient services and of sustained Tory cuts.

snhs perf

Bear in mind, NHS England has largely given up the ghost on meeting targets.

Headline reporting by BBC Scotland has been predictably selective:


 While the report by BBC Scotland does mention increased demand, this is done with little prominence.


4 thoughts on “Scottish NHS performance holding up despite massive increase in demand and Tory austerity cuts

  1. Robert Graham October 25, 2018 / 8:56 am

    unusual to see this highlighted on the national news this morning , i expect if it was really good news and showed the scottish government in a good light it would be buried for all eternity , thats how petty and vindictive this project to protect the union is , these people work round the clock with one agenda keep scots in the dark as to how the country is functioning , its relentless and pretty bloody boring .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Alasdair Macdonald October 25, 2018 / 1:16 pm

    To be fair to Gary Robertson, when he was interviewing one of the authors of the report, he attempted to get into the nuances of the report, to identify some of the causes and to get indications of ways forward. The replies from the auditor demonstrated the complexity of the issues.

    However, as the programme evolved and after the Conservative spokesperson, Mr Miles Briggs, was interviewed and simply put the boot in, the tenor of the reporting drifted back to ‘knocking’. A BMA person was also interviewed with no identification that this person was representing a trade union, and, therefore had a particular vested interest.


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