A £100 million Frontline Fund must be in the Scottish Budget tomorrow

27 January 2015

John Swinney should bring an amended budget to Parliament tomorrow to include a £100 million Frontline Fund for our NHS, Scottish Labour said today.


The call came after another day showing patients being let down under the SNP including :


Media reports today that patients have had to wait up to 20 hours in a Portakabin used as an A&E overspill room


A Healthcare Environment Inspectorate report stated that hygiene standards at Edinburgh’s Western Infirmary have fallen


A report has been published saying that the Scottish NHS is performing worse than the English NHS


Scottish Labour’s major demand in the Scottish Budget is to use Barnett consequentials to establish a £100 million frontline fund.


An NHS Frontline Fund would allow hospitals facing extra pressure to have planned surgery at the weekends and diagnostics in the evening.


A Frontline Fund will free up beds meaning patients get quicker, better care whilst decreasing pressure on frontline NHS staff.


Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Jenny Marra MSP said:


“We are seeing a clear pattern emerge in our NHS of the SNP taking credit for anything good that happens whilst pointing the finger of blame at health boards.


"The SNP can't have it both ways, either they take responsibility for our NHS or they don't.


"Scottish Labour have identified money in the Scottish budget for a £100 million Frontline Fund which would reduce strain on staff and deliver better care.


“Tomorrow John Swinney should bring an amended budget to Parliament that will stand up for our NHS, and protect our sick and vulnerable.”



 Scottish Labour’s Frontline fund


 Our NHS faces pressure by squeezing treatments into a 9-5 schedule.

Scotland has 22 hospitals with full front facing A&E provision; Scottish Labour’s Frontline fund would be used to support spreading elective surgery over more days to avoid the weekday congestion, this would help both scheduled and unscheduled care.


A Frontline Fund would target £100m for the incremental delivery of weekday equivalent services on evenings and weekends, starting with Trauma Hospitals.


Weekend and night services are provided by junior doctors.


Scottish Labour’s Frontline Fund could be used to ensure under pressure hospitals have consultants on shift which they do not currently cover.


Developing this approach would also allow for patients to have a health service that suits their lives, such as elective surgery out with their working hours.


Scottish Labour said that these changes should be done in conjunction with clinical staff to ensure it delivers more efficient care to patients and reduces the very real demands and pressures on staff.


How will it be paid for?


Total Barnett consequentials are £211m


Already allocated before budget:  £65m to NHS Boards; £30m to delayed discharge and £2.5m to Specialist nurses.


£113m is therefore available to allocate in the budget.


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