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20 January 2015
Minister rebuked over bed-blocking announcement

Minister rebuked over bed-blocking announcement

A government minister has been rebuked for “gross discourtesy” after announcing funding to deal with delayed discharges outside of parliament.

Health Secretary Shona Robison this morning announced the Scottish Government will invest £100m in the NHS over three years to ensure patients are discharged from hospital more quickly.

However, the Cabinet Secretary’s failure to set out the spending package in front of the parliamentary chamber first has attracted fierce criticism from Holyrood’s Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick.

Marwick, who labelled the explanation offered “unsatisfactory”, said: “All members will be aware that the good practice guidance on announcements by the Scottish Government states that major policy and announcements should always be made to the parliament – they should not enter the public domain through any other route. 

“Whilst I accept that the Government is entitled to exercise its judgement on making announcements, this was clearly an announcement of significant public policy and should have been made to the parliament in the first instance. 
“In addition, the issue of delayed discharges has been of great concern to many members over the last few months. I therefore consider it to be a gross discourtesy to this parliament and its members that the announcement was not made here first.”

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