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BAILLIE ADMITS NHS BLANKET CLAIMS ARE WRONG

George Adam MSPFALSE COMMENTS TALK NHS DOWN YET AGAIN

HEALTH WORKERS OWED AN APOLOGY

The SNP has called on Labour to apologise to health workers after Jackie Baillie admitted her claims that NHS patients had to share blankets in a Paisley hospital were wrong – weeks after the health board provided proof there was no truth in her accusations.

SNP MSP George Adam has written to Johann Lamont asking her to investigate Ms Baillie’s remarks and apologise to the staff of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde for her health spokesperson’s false statements.

Ms Baillie made the allegations, despite NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde saying, when the matter “was raised a few weeks ago”, that they provided “proof that there was no truth in this claim”. She later admitted in a newspaper that they were wrong

Mr Adam, SNP MSP for Paisley and a Member of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee, said:

“To knowingly make incorrect claims in her conference speech beggars belief.

“She should be ashamed of herself for talking Scotland’s health service down yet again.

“Ms Baillie knew her allegations were wrong as NHS GGC had addressed them weeks before.

“I have written to Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, asking her to investigate these remarks and apologise to the staff of the Royal Alexandra for her health spokesperson’s false statements.

“Ms Baillie is a repeat offender in smearing Scotland’s NHS. It was only in December she tried to pass off “new figures” for infection rates as ones gathered under the SNP, when in fact they were collected in 2005/06, when Labour were last in power.

“And this follows her infamous “Winter Watch” campaign last year, which had nothing to do with improving the NHS, and everything to do with her finding new ways to talk down the NHS and its hard-working staff.

“She must explain why she made an assertion in her conference speech which had already been comprehensively rebutted by the Health Board several weeks before. This is not only disrespectful to our health professionals – it has caused alarm among patients and their families. Labour’s health spokesperson should instead be acknowledging the hard work and dedication of our NHS workforce.”

Notes:

1) In her speech to Labour conference at the weekend, Jackie Baillie stated that “In one hospital in Greater Glasgow and Clyde patients are even having to share blankets because of the cuts.”

2) However, 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.”

3) Jackie Baillie herself “later admitted that the claim was wrong” http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/political-news/independent-carer-representative-to-sit-on-shadow-cabinet.1330830213

4) Link to story from Straight Statistics in January about Jackie Baillie passing off figures from 2006 as an attack on the SNP http://www.straightstatistics.org/article/superbug-data-trip-scottish-labour

5) Details of Jackie Baillie’s “Winter Watch” campaign – asking for patients and staff to report “any strains in the NHS” and then suggesting the information will be used by the Labour Party – can be found at http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/winterwatch