£125 Million Pledged to Scottish NHS in Autumn Statement

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Published: 4 Dec 2014      

The Autumn Statement unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne has revealed that an extra £125 million will be pledged to the Scottish NHS in an effort to improve the services offered by the organisation to ensure patients are provided with a better standard of care.

The news was confirmed by Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney who also added that the move, while beneficial to an extent, should mark the start of reinvestment into the service following a period of austerity that has seen million more cut from funding.

He commented: "The Scottish government is focused on securing economic growth, tackling inequality and protecting our public services. The Chancellor's budget fails to pass the test on all of these measures.

"Today's budget shows the failure of the UK government's austerity policy and it is clear that we in Scotland are paying the price.

"In 2010 the Chancellor embarked on his austerity programme and instead of putting the finances on a sound footing we are seeing borrowing this year of over £50bn higher than expected, lower tax revenues and austerity extended by at least a further two years."

The words signal a growing dissatisfaction with the austerity policy imposed throughout the UK, though the extra money is still considered to be something of a bright spot. Both Swinney and Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael have insisted that they should "crack on" and ensure that the money is well spent on the service, however both maintain that more needs to be done to further improve.

Mr Swinney is not placed under any obligation to spend the money on the NHS, which just leave potential for some of it to be spent on other projects, however based on what he has said in the wake of the statement the likelihood is that the money will be used where it is intended.

Mr Carmichael took a more lenient approach to the news, insisting that Scotland has benefited from various forms of Government money since the formation of the coalition, quoting a figure of £2.3 billion since 2010.

While political infighting is still aparent in the wake of the announcement, those within the Scottish NHS will welcome any extra funding that allows them to provide a superior service to patients. This funding has also been mirrored in England, where an additional £2 billion has been pledged from the beginning of April to improving services. However, even with this consternation still appears as some argue that a proportion of that money was already earmarked for the NHS and can't be considered as extra funding.

Whatever the situation, we at Sonographers Medical believe that any additional funding for the NHS is to be considered good news during this period of austerity. We also hope that further action will be taken to improve the standards of care offered by the NHS and its patients.

 

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