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A win for thrombectomy: Scottish Government announce Health and Social Care budget

“The stroke community in Scotland was united in alarm over recent cuts to the thrombectomy programme and we therefore welcome this renewed funding”

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The Scottish Government have announced that health and social care services will receive a record high budget settlement over the next year.

After threats were made to cut budgets of life saving treatments like thrombectomy, the Scottish Government have reversed their decision. 

Instead, a £19 billion package will help to tackle the immediate pressures that have been caused by the pandemic and a tough winter, whilst also supporting the future of health and care services.

The Scottish Government has surpassed its commitment in ensuring every penny it receives from the UK government is spent on health and social care, meaning that an extra £1 billion will be available for the improvement of front line services and help fund the NHS pay deal for 2022/23.

Health boards across Scotland will also receive a 6 per cent boost in funding as part of the budget, thus bringing their total budget to £13.7 billion, which also includes over £9 billion to give their staff a fair wage.

Social care and integration will also benefit from £1.7 billion in funding over the next year, this is in order to deliver vital reforms of social care, continue work towards creating the country’s first National Care Service, and improving conditions for care workers, by funding a £10.90 Real Living Wage for adult social care workers in commissioned services.

The government have announced that this budget will help to continue to support prevention and early intervention, as well as the provision of quality community care, which will provide:

.More than £1.2 billion for mental health services to provide record staff numbers that provide more varied support and services to more people than ever.

.Over £2 billion to deliver and improve primary health care services in the community, enabling dental reform and supporting crucial GP services through investment in multi-disciplinary teams and targeted assistance to support system sustainability.

.£160 million to address the public health emergencies and reduce the avoidable hairs associated with drugs and alcohol. 

And in terms of thrombectomy…

The budget for life-saving procedures such as thrombectomy will be fully restored, despite ‘the need to make a short term reduction to tackle the inflationary pressures faced by the whole UK.’

Humza Yousaf, health secretary, says: “Frontline workers are the foundation of our health and care services and I am extremely grateful for them for getting us through the pandemic and facing-down one of the toughest winters in NHS history.

“This historic settlement took some difficult decisions, but we are steadfast in efforts to address the immediate pressures on health and social care services, and support fair work and pay.

“I want health and care services that are fit for the future – a future where Scotland continues to be the best place for health and care workers and where everyone gets the care that they need, where and when they need it.”

John Watson, Associate Director of the Stroke Association in Scotland, says: “The stroke community in Scotland was united in alarm over recent cuts to the thrombectomy programme and we therefore welcome this renewed funding of a life-saving, and cost-saving service. The Cabinet Secretary has now given us his assurance that the commitment to a national round-the-clock thrombectomy service remains. 

“We look forward to continuing this positive discussion, with the aim of a clear timetable for delivering one of the most effective and cost-saving procedures available to us.”

Jane-Claire Judson, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland chief executive, says: “We welcome that the Scottish Government has listened to stroke survivors, charities and health professionals and restored funding for developing a national thrombectomy service. This cost-effective and life-changing procedure can make a huge difference to stroke survivors ensuring many more are able to walk again, talk again and live their lives to the full. 

“We now need to see work on setting up a 24/7 national service restart as a matter of urgency and a timetable for delivery so that every stroke patient who needs it gets the best chance of living life to the full.”

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