‘Our findings mean that northern Scotland has among the highest rates of Huntington’s disease in the world. Its prevalence is almost three times greater than reported elsewhere in Europe (4.7 per 100,000); North America (4.1-5.2 per 100,000); Japan (0.1 per 100,000); Australia (5.70 per 100,000 people) – and more than five times the estimated worldwide rate of 2.71 per 100,000 people.’
Primary care needs urgent support
“We cannot do it all, something will have to give, and it should not be our sickest patients. We need to retain our workforce and yet I know of many GPs who stayed on for the pandemic but who will shortly leave….”
Time to deliver
“The failure to reduce demand in acute services through prevention is evident in the increasing proportion of Scottish budget spend on the National Health Service. This has had many consequences. Money required for acute services means less for other services.” A member of the Christie Commission on delivering public services in Scotland looks back/forward in sorrow
Radical change needed to boost Scotland’s economy
In a special guest blog, Sir Tom Hunter, whose eponymous Foundation commissioned the recent Raising Scotland’s Economic Growth Rate report from Oxford Economics, underlines how Scotland’s economy lags behind and needs radical change to catch up and rediscover its innovative dynamism.
Sunak’s Budget and Scotland
“..further Covid-related allocations are designed to support the economy during ongoing restrictions – and these provide the Scottish Government with further resources during 2021/22. In years beyond that, this was a budget that aims to rebuild the economy by leveraging investment, whilst raising more from tax and tightening the screw on public services spending. But there is no role in the future economic vision for welfare policy or public services spending.”
Infants in care – Scotland’s civic emergency
In Scotland, one in every 85 children born between 2008 and 2017 was in public care at some time before their first birthday, separated from their mothers in their first year of life. These figures are shocking. They raise a basic question no one here seems to be asking: why and why so many?
Pandemic and absent solidarity
‘…richer nations such as Scotland need to live up to their oft-repeated, much-vaunted proclamations in favour of global solidarity. So far, we’re not even talking about it in the pandemic.’
Free school meals and child poverty
‘Child poverty is a systemic and deep routed issue that has been prevalent in our society for too long. However, universal free school meals all year round are unlikely to be the most effective way of tackling this issue.’
A plague on old age
‘By far the most important risk factor for getting hospitalised, being admitted to an ICU, and dying from the disease is old age, particularly being over 80. Not many housing scheme residents get that far…’
Bringing the future into the present: the Covid food crisis
During pandemic times all four pillars of food security are challenged as domino effects and blockages, compounded by Brexit and the climate emergency, disrupt processes at different points of the supply chain.