A HIGHLAND TORY CANDIDATE in the forthcoming Scottish Government elections has been hitting out at the “spectacular failings” of NHS emergency care in Moray.
Malcolm Mackay, who is standing for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, is calling for a strategic review of Accident and Emergency services all along the Moray cost – and highlighting emergency care between Elgin and Inverness as a “problem too often ignored”.
Mr Mackay is calling for radical action to improve urgent care throughout the Highlands – and is pointing to failings by the Scottish Government along the 30-mile corridor from Inverness to Moray – including retaining staff, providing adequate budgets and overseeing unacceptable closures when staff call off sick.
He said: “I think in terms of urgent care the Holyrood model imported from England doesn’t work.
“GPs out of hours deliver urgent care which is very different from their day job. I am calling for the Scottish Ambulance Service’s North division to take over GP out of hours services and scrap NHS24, which for so many in the Highland’s is a confusing waste of time. Being so rural, we need a one stop shop for urgent care here.”
The prospective parliamentarian added that a main challenge for the NHS was training and retention of nursing staff, saying: “I think scrapping enrolled nurses was a terrible mistake, and failing to hold on to GPs is a tragedy.
“My plan for the NHS involves bringing back enrolled nurse training using New Zealand’s 18-month diploma in our local colleges, and to directly fund a GP returner’s scheme for those returning from abroad.”
“Enrolled nurses trained at a third of the cost and half the price of staff nurses make up about 20% of nurses in Australian and New Zealand. That would mean a massive boost to local services here.
“No empty promises, just common sense joining the dots. It’s long overdue.”