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Dave is the Secretary of SHA Scotland. His day job is the Head of Bargaining and Campaigns at UNISON Scotland. He a member of Labour's Scottish Executive Committee, a past Chair of the Scottish Labour Party and Secretary of Trade Unions for Scottish Labour.

Councils can make a huge contribution to tackling health inequalities across Scotland. The interaction and relationship with the Scottish Government is pivotal to making a difference. National recommendations for action: Funding: Reform the resource allocation to local authorities to ensure that it is based on socioeconomic circumstances of communities. Income: Reform Council Tax and create fairer local taxation. Structures: Further work to reform local authority structures -balance between local and regional services and integration with wider public services, particularly the NHS and public health services. Local recommendations for action: Priorities: This is about priorities and decisions. Tackling health inequalities should […]
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NHS funding is not keeping pace with increasing demand and the needs of an ageing population. NHS boards are facing an extremely challenging financial position and many had to use short-term measures to break even. That’s the key message in a report that makes grim reading from Audit Scotland on the NHS in Scotland. Although Scotland’s health budget increased by 2.7% in real terms from the previous year, it is not keeping up with growing demand.  Between 2010/11 and 2014/15, the annual percentage change in the total health budget has been less than 1% and below the UK inflation rate. […]
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The health debate in the Scottish Parliament election didn’t inspire many in the health sector. It rarely got above the level of NHS targets and there was very little focus on health inequalities. At least the Scottish Labour manifesto led with that issue. As we look ahead to the new parliament there are going to be a few challenges for health. The biggest is austerity, as the SNP have largely boxed themselves into following George Osborne’s spending plans. Health spending is to increase broadly in line with the Barnett consequentials of English health spending, although the extra (and much needed) social care funding (£1.3bn) is […]
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While sound and fury explodes all around us on NHS spending, spare a thought for the crisis in Scotland’s social care system. Today, I was in parliament for the launch of the Commission for the Provision of Quality Care in Scotland report. The Commission was established by Neil Findlay MSP when he was Shadow Cabinet for Health and Wellbeing with the aim of reviewing how we can improve the way adult social care is delivered. It was Chaired by David Kelly who was a Director of one of the first Community Health and Care Partnerships in Scotland and brought together all […]
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Persistent health inequalities in Scotland is a scandal and our foremost national shame. We are experts at describing health inequality, but dismal at fixing it. A new report by the Health Inequality Commission takes the radical path of offering solutions. Allowing so many people to die or become ill earlier than their neighbours because of a simple accident of birth underpins our national ignominy in this policy field. We know both what causes and what will solve health inequality. As a society we comment and frown about how terrible unequal health outcomes are, but we don’t devise, and then put […]
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The social care crisis in Scotland is not given the priority it deserves, but there is a growing consensus about what needs to be done. I was speaking at the Care Scotland, care at home conference. The panel was asked to set out what’s wrong with home care and how we would fix it. On a national and local level we need to fix the crazy commissioning system that isn’t working for anyone. It isn’t working for providers who are struggling to maintain a viable business model. It isn’t working for staff; either social workers that are trying to put […]
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General Practice in Scotland is facing significant challenges. Could now be the time to move to a fully salaried service? GP surgeries face a recruitment crisis – with a survey earlier this year finding 17 per cent are short of at least one doctor. In Forth Valley there are three practices that have been taken over by the health board because of an inability to recruit doctors. The Leith Links Medical Centre, Edinburgh has had its boundaries redrawn to cut its patient list from 8,300 to 6,300 after two unfilled recruitment rounds left the three remaining GPs dependent on locum support. […]
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Socialist Health Association Scotland backs Neil Findlay and Katy Clark for Scottish Labour leadership SHA Scotland, one of the most active socialist societies affiliated to Scottish Labour, is to nominate Neil Findlay MSP as Leader and Katy Clark MP as Deputy Leader. As Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Neil Findlay has built a close working relationship with organisations like SHA Scotland working on key issues such as health inequalities, social care and strengthening NHS Scotland. The establishment of the Health Inequalities Commission and the Quality Care Commission shows that he is interested in solutions to these major problems. […]
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Since devolution, the NHS in Scotland has taken a very different path to that of NHS England. It has embraced co-operation rather than competition. And new figures show that Scots reckon that it delivers for them. Findings just released from the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) 2013 have found satisfaction with Scotland’s NHS increased by over 20 per cent since 2005. The official survey of around 1500 Scots found that 61 per cent of people in Scotland were either very or quite satisfied with the NHS, compared with only 40 per cent in 2005.  This high level of satisfaction is reflected in the patient experience as well. In last […]
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June 2014 edition of Healthier Scotland, the E-Bulletin of the Socialist Health Association Scotland. Health Inequalities Tackling inequality in health and disease and in life and death is, arguably, the greatest challenge we face as a society. There is still time to submit views to the Commission established by Neil Findlay MSP to find some solutions. Scottish Labour’s new manifesto puts health inequality at the centre of party policy. A series of reports published in recent weeks on poverty and inequality in Scotland is summarised at UNISON’s Public Works blog. They include some recommendations for action as well. Giving evidence […]
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The care of older people in Scotland is a national disgrace. Fairly paid, well-trained staff on proper contracts with time to care is the very least older people in our communities have a right to expect. Like others in the sector I have written reports highlighting staffing levels, budgets, structures and care strategies. Words have been written and numbers crunched – but that doesn’t tell the whole story. I participated in a couple of focus groups made up of care workers last year and the messages from the workers who provide care were deeply disturbing. They painted a picture of […]
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June 2013 Edition the E-Bulletin of the Socialist Health Association Scotland. SHA Scotland is a campaigning organisation which promotes health and well-being and the eradication of inequalities through the application of socialist principles to society and government. We believe that these objectives can best be achieved through collective rather than individual action. We campaign for an integrated healthcare system which reduces inequalities in health and is accountable to the communities it serves. For the latest Scottish health news follow @shascotland on Twitter. Health Inequalities The latest edition of our policy journal has a focus on health inequalities with articles by […]
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