20 February 2020

Nicola Sturgeon must step in to save GP surgeries from closure if she wants to protect the wider NHS from further pressures, Richard Leonard has said.

At First Minister's Questions, the Scottish Labour leader raised the closure of a local GP surgery in Salsburgh, which he has written to the First Minister about and in which her reply washed her hands of the issue.

The local community plan to fight the proposed closure which is being carried out without prior consultation.

He went on to highlight the planned closure of a GP surgery in the Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman’s own constituency. Ms Freeman was invited to attend a public meeting on the issue but failed to attend.

Mr Leonard said: “First Minister, if your own Cabinet Secretary for Health does not know about a GP closure in her own constituency why on earth should people believe that your government is going to solve the GP crisis, that patients are facing here in Scotland?”

He continued: “This winter saw the worst A&E performances on record. Thousands of patients waited over four hours for treatment.

"When will you accept that you can’t claim that you are protecting Scotland’s NHS if you are not protecting Scotland’s local Primary Care services?
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