On Thursday 9th feburary I asked the Scottish Government a question on how it is going to deal with the on-going issues in Thornhill Hospital. Watch or read their response below:
Just this week, NHS Dumfries and Galloway was forced to suspend admissions to Thornhill hospital in Dumfriesshire and to halve the number of beds, because the local GP practice that provides cover to the hospital has been running with half the number of GPs that it requires.
Given that the Royal College of General Practitioners predicted the current recruitment crisis, and given that this Government has been in power for 10 years, will the cabinet secretary hold her hand up and acknowledge that the Government has been far too slow off the mark in tackling the GP crisis, whether through extra funding, the development of GP hubs or extension of the minor ailment service?
Colin Smyth will be aware of the extensive work that is going on to ensure that we have a primary care model that is fit for purpose. The GP is critical, as the clinical expertise behind a multidisciplinary team, which is how the future model will look.
Mr Smyth will also be aware of the commitment of additional investment of £500 million by the end of this parliamentary session, which will mean that, for the first time, more than half the spend will be on community health services.
We have a clear plan to ensure that we have more GPs and more of the other health professionals who will make up multidisciplinary teams. That will be good for people in Dumfries and Galloway and the rest of Scotland.
We are taking immediate action to help to reduce workload—for example by getting rid of some of the bureaucracy around GP payments. We are working with the profession, including the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association, to take other short-term measures, while the new model is introduced.