Health secretary told ‘listen to NHS patients and staff’

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SHADOW health secretary Jackie Baillie has said her Holyrood opposite number needs to “listen to patients and staff” following this week’s review of NHS Lothian.

After the review this week, chaired by Health Secretary Alex Neil, the minister said NHS Lothian was a “second division” health service – but it would soon enter the “premier division” and offered backing to health board bosses.

But Labour MSP Ms Baillie said that Mr Neil needed to “listen to patients and staff who are expressing their strong concerns about what is happening in Lothian” and that the SNP could not be trusted to run the NHS.

She said: “Whilst the Health Secretary sits in his office and issues diktats to NHS Lothian, patients and staff are suffering.

“Whilst NHS Lothian is a known scandal, the rest of the NHS in Scotland is buckling under the pressures of budget cuts, 2500 fewer nurses and midwives, record number of complaints and failing care and cleanliness standards.”