Monica Lennon MSP has slammed the Scottish Government over the ongoing CODE BLACK local health service emergency.
Monica has called for an immediate and substantial pay rise for healthcare workers, including social care staff who are earning as little as £10.50 per hour. The MSP says urgent action on staff retention and recruitment cannot be delayed any longer.
CODE Black is the highest level of risk for the health board. Embattled NHS Lanarkshire has been stuck at CODE BLACK for more than 360 days since October 2021. There was a short-lived reprieve in spring 2021, before returning to CODE BLACK in July 2022.
Lanarkshire patients have been experiencing the longest A&E waiting times in the whole of Scotland.
On Monday 9 January, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf, held a press conference to outline the Scottish Government’s response to the NHS crisis.
Following the briefing, Monica commented “This is a full-blown humanitarian crisis. People are dying because the NHS is collapsing.
“The crisis we are seeing nationally is not unique to Scotland, and all governments need to take responsibility for meeting the health and social care needs of their citizens.
“In Scotland, however, responsibility and accountability rests with the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
“NHS Lanarkshire is the crisis within the crisis, where patients and staff have been stuck in a CODE BLACK nightmare almost every day since October 2021.
“Lives are being lost, and too many people are not getting the care they need with lifechanging consequences. It’s a humanitarian crisis that demands a crisis response.
“I listened carefully to Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf but was left feeling completely underwhelmed. They are failing to listen to staff, patients and families.
“Across Scotland there are thousands of people stuck in hospital beds because they can’t get a care package. With social care staff being as paid as little as £10.50 per hour, it’s no wonder there are massive staff shortages.
“It’s time that healthcare staff were paid properly for the vital work that they do.
“If the Scottish Government is serious about reviving our NHS and social care services, they need to address pay and conditions without further delay.”
“This winter has shown that quite clearly, our NHS has been neglected and with Junior Doctors potentially taking industrial action, it is only going to get worse. The Scottish Government must prove that it really does value staff by agreeing a fair pay deal.