Scotland politics

Labour's Baillie claims patients share blankets at Scots hospital

hospital bed
Image caption It has been claimed that blanket are being shared by patients at one Scots hospital

NHS patients are being forced to share blankets as a result of SNP government cuts, Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie has claimed.

She said concerned constituents had contacted her about the issue at the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said there was "no truth" in the claims.

Ms Baillie told the Scottish Labour conference the NHS was straining to cope and there was a backlog to repairs to hospitals and health centres.

She said she had had correspondence between constituents and the Royal Alexanrdra detailing the concerns, which also included claims that patients were having to use dressing gowns as an alternative for blankets.

Ms Baillie disputed claims the Scottish government had protected the NHS budget, saying it had been cut by £319m, while nursing jobs had decreased by 2,000 in the last three years.

And she said there was a £1bn backlog of repairs to hospitals and health centres.

In her Dundee conference speech, she said: "This is not just an NHS straining to cope with increased demand and fewer resources, this is an NHS which is in danger of crumbling around us.

"And the SNP can't even get the basics rights.

"In one hospital, in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, patients are even having to share blankets because of the cuts.

"The truth is, the fault lies with the SNP because even in times of plenty, they have underfunded the NHS.

"At a time when Labour in England were providing record year on year increases of nearly 7%, the SNP only passed on just over 4% of a rise - leaving our NHS less able to weather the storm now."

Responding to the blanket claims, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: "This matter was raised with us a few weeks ago, and we were able to provide proof that there was no truth in this claim.

"Extra blankets are available in all our hospital as and when patients need them."

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