Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has expressed concern after the publication of the latest National Stroke Care Audit for Scotland which saw Dumfries and Galloway fall down the rankings for patient care.

Overall NHS Dumfries and Galloway fell from 8th in the national rankings for stroke care across Scotland’s health boards to 12th. This is after falling from 2nd overall in 2016.

The Report shows that less than 50% of patients in the region received an ‘appropriate’ care bundle in 2017. The Report also gives NHS Dumfries and Galloway 6 ambers across the priority areas of Secondary Prevention, transfer to the Community and Living with a Stroke which means that there is a plan to implement initiatives or these have been partially implemented.

Colin Smyth who is also Chair of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Heart Disease and Stroke said, “It is deeply worrying that for a second year in a row stroke care in Dumfries and Galloway has fallen on the national rankings, plummeting from 8th to 12th. Over 250 people a year in our region suffer a stroke every year and it remains the biggest cause of disability. It is therefore vital that anyone who has a stroke is given the best possible care as early as possible. However, in areas such as admitting someone to a dedicated stroke ward as quickly as possible, we are failing too many patients locally.

The harsh reality is that right across Scotland the NHS is starved of the resources it desperately needs to provide adequate patient care and to respond to the growing demand on services. The Report shows that staffing shortages had an impact on staff training and overall care delivery. To ensure that patient care improves across Dumfries and Galloway the SNP’s new Health Secretary, Jeanne Freeman, needs to change tact and properly resource our NHS.”

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