Scot Govt excuses are wearing thin for patients and staff in NHS Grampian

In a session of question and answers in the Scottish Parliament today, North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles grilled the Scottish Government’s Health Secretary about a decade of underfunding that has left the local health board with some of the worst waiting times in Scotland.

Mr Rumbles highlighted that the Scottish Government has failed to provide £239 million worth of funding to NHS Grampian since 2009, based on its own funding formula. Just some of the areas where NHS Grampian perform worse than other health boards include:


  • Cancer treatment times not met for a quarter of patients.
  • 3 in 10 patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment for chronic pain.
  • Only half of children waiting for mental health treatment seen within the 18 week deadline.
  • Five times more people waiting for dental treatment than four years ago.
  • Hundreds of operations cancelled annually due to a lack of resources.
  • Over a million working days lost due to stressed and overworked staff every year.


Commenting after the session, Mr Rumbles said: “The excuses are wearing thin and people in the North East are fed up with being snubbed by this Scottish Government. After twelve years in power, the SNP administration has utterly failed to get to grips with the problems in our local health care services in the North East.


“Our local health care services are the worst funded in Scotland and the Health Secretary seems oblivious to the fact that a decade of being short changed has left NHS Grampian without the resources it needs to provide the same service found elsewhere in Scotland.


“The Scottish Government can no longer ignore the fact that it is the patients and hardworking staff that are suffering because of failures in its funding arrangement.”




  • Data provided by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe):

NHS Grampian allocation compared with NRAC target allocation


Actual allocation £m

NRAC target allocation £m

Distance from parity £m





























2016-17 (a)




2017-18 (a)




2018-19 (a)




2019-20 (a)





(a)    allocations for 2016-17 to 2018-19 are revised to remove funding streams that are

(b)   not allocated on an NRAC basis

The total distance from parity over the whole period shown is £239.2m.


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