Following the announcement this week that a National Framework for the NHS in Scotland will be introduced, local SNP MSP and Shadow Deputy Health Minister Stewart Stevenson has backed calls for all decisions on any major service reviews to be delayed so that the framework can be developed. Commenting Mr Stevenson said:
"I have been calling for a national strategy for some time now because we have witnessed for too long Health Boards taking decisions in isolation from the regional or national picture, or indeed public opinion.
"Finally we now hear that there will be an expert group to develop a national framework for service change. However, this is rather too little too late.
"I would have thought that this national strategy should have been in place first, before Health Boards throughout Scotland embarked on centralising services.
"While this is better late than never, what we must now have is a delay in decisions, or imminent major service reviews by Health Boards, to allow a national framework to be developed. Otherwise these decisions may run counter to the 'strategic national focus' recommended by the expert group over the coming months."