Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Criteria for Meetings on Individual Cases)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2011.

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Photo of Gavin Brown Gavin Brown Conservative

3. To ask the Scottish Executive what criteria the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing uses when deciding whether or not to have meetings regarding issues arising from individual cases. (S3O-13471)

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I value the opportunity to meet individuals when that is possible and appropriate. I believe that listening and responding to feedback is a vital part of the process of improving health services.

I cannot intervene directly or offer comments on clinical decisions affecting an individual’s care and treatment. However, I am always prepared to consider how the system can be improved to ensure patient safety and improve the quality of care.

Photo of Gavin Brown Gavin Brown Conservative

Will the cabinet secretary look into the circumstances of a case involving my constituent Graeme McLaren, who went in with back problems and now has to be in a wheelchair most of the time? I have tried to assist Mr McLaren for several years, but in my view NHS Lothian has done nowhere near as much as it should to assist him. Will she agree to meet Mr McLaren and look into the details of his case?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I say to Gavin Brown, as I did in my initial answer, that I cannot intervene in or comment on the clinical circumstances of someone’s care. I am sure that he appreciates that that would be entirely inappropriate.

I am sure, too, that he is aware of the national health service complaints procedure and the right of any individual to refer a case to the ombudsman if they are not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint. It may be that Gavin Brown’s constituent has already gone through those processes.

Of course, if Gavin Brown wants to forward the details of this particular case to my office, I will ensure that it is looked into and that any appropriate action is taken. I hope that he will take me up on that offer.