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SNP ‘rejected help’ from UK for Scottish NHS patients to be treated in England

Scotland’s Health Secretary has rejected an offer of help from the UK Government to get NHS patients south of the border for treatment.

The offer of aid is believed to have come from then UK Health Secretary Steve Barclay in August as part of efforts to reduce NHS waiting lists in Scotland.

It means Scots facing operational delays could be treated more quickly in English hospitals.

Figures from August show a record one in seven Scots are on the waiting list.

As of September 30, figures revealed that 830,000 people were on the waiting list – a 28% increase compared to 2021.


According to Anas Sarwar, a freedom of information request by the Labor Party shows that 24,567 people died while on the NHS waiting list last year.

Requests for help have been spurned by the Scottish Government, first reported in Mail on Sundaywas criticized by the Tories, who argued the offer was made in good faith.

Health is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and a spokesman for Matheson said help from UK health officials was not needed.

They said: “The Scottish Government does not need to accept any support from the Department of Health and Social Care as we are investing an extra £100m a year, over the next three years, to help reduce waiting lists inpatients and day patients by an estimated 100,000 patients over the next three years.

“In stark contrast to Scotland, more than 1 million appointments have been canceled at NHS England as a result of strike action, with care plans slashed to cover the £1.3 billion bill.

“This is the reality of the NHS in England and it is all because of the UK Government’s refusal to come to the negotiating table.

“That is why the Scottish Government has offered to help with the UK Government’s negotiations to avoid strike action in England and the significant consequences it would have on patients and services.

“Sadly they have not accepted our offer of help – and today junior doctors in England have announced that they will stage a further nine days of strike action.

“Instead of trying to get involved in devolved areas, the UK Government should focus on tackling the many problems facing the NHS in England and reversing the de facto conditions that Faced by NHS England due to the Autumn Declaration.”

It comes after junior doctors in England confirmed they will stage the longest strike in NHS history after talks between their union and the British Government broke down.

Ministers and representatives of the British Medical Association (BMA) have been negotiating for five weeks to try to find a solution to the pay dispute.

But the BMA said the Department of Health and Social Care could not yet make a credible offer to end industrial action.

As a result, the BMA’s junior doctors committee voted unanimously for strikes in December and January, the union said.

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