Greens call for East Lothian Health & Care Crisis Summit

East Lothian Greens have called for a summit to discuss the health and care crisis in the county.

A parade is planned this weekend in support of the Edington Hospital and relatives have reported to Scottish Green council candidates staffing shortages at the Haddington Community Hospital over the Easter Weekend. 

At a recent hustings at the Fisherrow Centre, residents in Musselburgh expressed outrage at the waiting times at the Riverside GP practice, which is now subject to an independent investigation.

Meanwhile, Greens co-leader and MSP for Lothian, Lorna Slater, has written to Council officials calling for immediate support to safeguard the future of the Hollies Community Hub in Musselburgh.

Shona McIntosh, Scottish Greens candidate for Musselburgh, commented:

Hollies Community Hub is precisely the kind of community-led service Greens would urge the Council to prioritise.

Sadly the struggles the Hollies are facing are symptomatic of the health and social care crisis in East Lothian.

Jacq Cottrell, Scottish Green Party candidate for North Berwick Coastal, said:

It’s clear there are huge issues in the Health and Social Care Partnership and the only way out of this is a change in how we approach decision making. We need a crisis summit to discuss a way forward, involving residents, patients, staff, trade unions and Community Councils as well as officials and elected representatives.

Tim Porteus, Greens candidate in Preston, Seton & Gosford, added:

Just this week I was approached by a resident who has a relative at the hospital in Haddington. They claimed that their family member was given a souffle as a replacement for a meal this weekend, which staff claimed was due to ‘staff shortages’.

If we cannot look after the most vulnerable in East Lothian, we need to ask serious questions about the future for health and social care in the county.

Marnie Stirling, who works in the care sector and is standing for the Scottish Greens in Tranent, Wallyford & Macmerry, said:

I would like to see better provisions and more transparency in the care the Council provides. Families should be allowed to choose who it is they get to care for their loved ones.

Care starts in the home and owning or renting your own home shouldn't be a reason why you get less adequate care. When you live in unsafe and unlivable conditions, that affects your emotional, mental and physical health. Improvement of your home to bring it to a livable standard should be included in your care plan set up by the Council.

Funding should be made available for respite care because that is essential care to the individual and their families and must be a package when allocating care provisions because that doesn't exist at the moment for the majority of people.