Alison Johnstone MSP, health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, says today's report from Audit Scotland (22 Oct) into the NHS shows the need for Scottish ministers to pick up the pace towards preventative spending.

The report states that the Scottish Government has not made sufficient progress towards its 2020 vision of more home and community-based healthcare settings, and that there is limited evidence of health boards or the Scottish Government evaluating whether health and care services can adapt to changes in demand.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

"This Audit Scotland report is very clear that if we want our NHS to cope with increased demand and rising costs, we need to see a major shift in resources towards preventative and community-based services. Scottish Greens have consistently prioritised preventative spending - investing in good health now so we ease the pressure on the service downstream. We will continue to press this case in the forthcoming Scottish budget.

"It's alarming that the auditors say that despite recommendations made last year, ministers have yet to introduce indicators to measure progress towards preventative and community-based care.

"It's also a concern that although record numbers of people are employed in the NHS in Scotland, they are undoubtedly over-stretched. Recruitment and retention of qualified staff is a key issue, and ministers must prioritise planning ahead so we know what kind of jobs will be needed to cope with the changing health of Scotland's population."