Only a couple of short weeks ago First Minister Nicola Sturgeon once again announced that she will be pushing for yet another independence referendum late next year.

This, at a time when we should be focussed on Covid recovery and rebuilding our economy.

However, while the SNP continue with their tunnel-vision focus on constitutional division, the local priorities of North Ayrshire residents continue to be neglected. This is seen no clearer than in the challenging state that our local NHS currently finds itself.

The Scottish Government aim for 95 per cent of patients attending Accident and Emergency departments to be seen within four hours, yet this is far from reality.

In our own health board area, the percentage of A&E patients seen within that timeframe stands at just 61.6 per cent which is a huge drop from the same time in 2020 – right in the middle of the pandemic.

Furthermore, many local residents will have seen the reports that some patients also had a wait of over 40 hours to be seen, which is nothing short of alarming.

Outside of A&E, the percentage of patients who begin treatment within the advised two months after being referred with a suspicion of cancer has also fallen, with just 77.3 per cent of patients being seen within that time.

This is another large drop from the same time last year and, once again, far from the target of 95 per cent.

The sooner cancer is treated, the better the chance of survival – so it’s clear that more needs to be done about this.

We will all know of someone who has been affected by this, if not a loved one then a friend

None of this is a reflection on our amazing NHS staff to whom we owe so much, but they are being badly let down by the Scottish Government.

On the topic of improving health in our local community, the Scottish Conservatives have decided enough is enough and that Scotland’s drugs deaths shame must be tackled with strong and robust action.

As such, we are proposing a new Right to Recovery Bill. If passed, this Bill will enshrine in law the right of everyone to receive the life-saving treatment they need as they recover from drug addiction.

With North Ayrshire having the second highest drug death rate in Scotland, this Bill could not be more important to us locally and I urge the Scottish Government to support it so that we can get people the help they deserve.

SNP mismanagement of our most valued public service has taken its toll, yet instead of fixing these issues they are focussing their efforts on something which was settled just eight years


Health is just one of these vital areas, which demands urgent attention; there’s also education, jobs, poverty, life expectancy, and justice to name a few.

North Ayrshire deserves a government that is willing to listen to our priorities and there is still time to make that a reality which is why I urge all local SNP politicians and the First Minister herself to get on with the day job.