Health is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and as such Sustainability and Transformation Plans only relate to NHS England and have not been implemented in Scotland. My SNP colleagues and I therefore did not vote on this matter; however, the SNP’s health spokesperson at Westminster, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, herself a consultant breast cancer surgeon, did attend and spoke on our behalf.
Scotland’s health is of high importance to me and I am pleased my colleagues in the Scottish Government have ensured health spending has increased to a record level under the SNP with Scotland’s health budget rising to a record high of nearly £13 billion this year. This includes vital investment of £250m to be directed to Health and Social Care partnerships to ensure improved outcomes in social care and support integration.
Patient experience and input is vital in ensuring we have a NHS that is fit for purpose and ensures it meets the needs of the people who need it. STPs could have been a key opportunity to reverse fragmentation and reintegrate the NHS in England – as my SNP colleagues in the Scottish Government have done by getting rid of hospital and primary care trust for integrated joint health boards. By doing this, it allowed funding to be allocated to health boards and avoiding unnecessary distractions concerning where budgets come from and let our NHS staff get on with the priorities of looking at the patient’s journey as a whole and working to make the best pathway to care and ensuring the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes for patients.