More information needs to be publicly available about the NHS so the Scottish public can be sure decisions taken to cut services are in the best interests of patients, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland has said, in response to the findings of our survey of over 1,000 Scottish adults.
- 70% of people in Scotland say that they are not aware how the NHS intends to save money in their local area over the coming year
- Only 19% are ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ confident that any plans made to save money in the NHS would be fully assessed to protect standards
Commenting on the results of the survey, RCN Scotland Director Theresa Fyffe said: ‘Scotland faces a tight funding situation and it is inevitable that new ways to deliver safe and effective care with less money will need to be found. However, there is no excuse for not providing members of the public with the information they need to take part in an open and transparent debate on difficult decisions about how public money is being spent and saved.
‘The RCN has consistently called for the next Scottish Government to direct health boards to make public discussions leading to key decisions about money and services. We are also asking that any plans to cut costs are properly risk assessed to make sure patient safety and standards of care are not compromised. Only in this way can health boards be truly accountable to the public they were set up to care for.’
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,096 adults in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th–14th April 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).