Proper funding for Scottish Local Government would allow Councils to help ease the pressure on the NHS, COSLA has said today (Monday).
COSLA is calling on the Scottish Government to adequately fund crucial local services ahead of the Scottish Budget on December 9. COSLA has urged Scottish Government to think about the “whole system” and ensure councils have the resources they need to contribute to the improved health and wellbeing of the whole population.
COSLA also warns that without adequate funding for Local Government there is a very real prospect this winter and beyond that the NHS will not have the capacity to cope, waiting lists will increase and more Government targets will be missed.
COSLA’s Resources Spokesperson, Councillor Gail Macgregor, said: “Scottish Local Government is key to creating the conditions for improved health and wellbeing in our communities.
“The Scottish Budget on December 9 presents a perfect opportunity to reset Scottish public spending in a way that empowers councils to achieve their ambition for our communities.”
COSLA President Councillor Alison Evison added: “By investing adequately in the essential services that Local Government provides, the Scottish Government would be enabling us to ease the pressure on the NHS and work towards achieving our joint aim of enabling everyone to ‘Live Well Locally’.
“Significant additional funding has gone into the NHS over recent years, yet health inequalities still exist and our communities are still seeing too many drug deaths. The NHS is having to deal with problems once they are too far gone and at the most expensive part of the process. Investing in Local Government would enable investment in more cost-effective prevention work.”
COSLA’s Vice President Councillor Graham Houston concluded: “Simply pouring further resource into health is in itself not the answer. There is strong evidence, including from the World Health Organisation, that investment across the whole system is crucial in allowing communities to thrive.
“That is why, to enable people to ‘Live Well Locally’, this year’s Scottish Budget must clearly demonstrate a commitment to this whole system of health, and the vital preventative and early intervention services Councils provide.
“The National Health Service in Scotland does a tremendous job but it cannot solve Scotland’s health issues on its own. Councils have a vital role to play – and that needs investment in Councils by the Scottish Government.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
COSLA launched its Live Well Locally budget lobbying campaign on November 15. You can read more here: COSLA LAUNCHES BUDGET LOBBYING CAMPAIGN | COSLA