Erm, nice scarf.

The hapless Richard Leonard, seemingly always trying to get one over on the SNP, took to Twitter to elicit stories about NHSS.

The NHS crisis dominated today, I would like to hear your stories: good, bad or indifferent of the experience you, or a loved one, had with the NHS over winter.

Good bad or indifferent, he said, but it seemed to me that he was probably looking for bad stories, the better to beat Nicola Sturgeon around the head with.

And he got lots of comments.

But, as they say, one should always be a little careful what one wishes for. Because his very first reply was from Joe Kane:

Replying to 

I’ve a real shocker for you Richard. It’s difficult to imagine such exploitation in a modern health service, but Scottish Labour used the to line the pockets of rich tory shareholders. I’m sure you’ll mention it at the next

Ewww, er, Matron!

One of the reasons that the health service in our country is short of money is that we are paying for the hideously expensive PFI contracts signed by his predecessors. Joe pointed this out, as did several other people.

Wishaw hospital, for example, would have cost around £100 million bought and paid for, but thanks to Labour’s financing schemes, it will cost £800 million. And who is pocketing the £700 million extra?

These contracts were repeated all over the country, and not just for NHSS facilities. (We know about the PFI schools so badly built that they fell down!)

Richard wasn’t any luckier with his second respondent.

Replying to 

We had a terrible time in A&E in October with my sister’s knee injury, after the initial triage we waited SEVEN hours, although the target is to be seen within 4. She was in a lot of pain, it was awful. This was in Wales. You’re lucky that you live in Scotland.

He must have been salivating as he read the first couple of lines. Then smack! The punchline hit him The guy who was talking about poor treatment was actually from Wales, and he was referring to treatment his sister received at the hands of  NHSW.
Of course, there were good news stories too. 
Replying to 

Virus affected my asthma, got emergency appointment with GP same day. Antibiotics and referral for X-ray. Seen at Wishaw General within 1/2 hour. Back to GP for results the next week. Great service, but hey, that’s not what you’re want to hear, is it Richard?

No, probably not, but he did ask!

Replying to 

Cardiology appt today 11:30am seen immediately and out 15 mins later ,Dr couldn’t have been better


Replying to 

Phoned surgery AM, got appoint AM, seen by Doctor on time, walked to Chemist got my FREE prescription all before 11.30am. Excellent Service, love my Scottish NHS.

Replying to 

Three family experiences in last three weeks. One at A&E. all excellent experiences. I hope you read this out at FMQs.

Replying to 

Vascular ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary absolutely first class over winter including Christmas Day. Staff from all over the world contributing. I wish your party would stand up for them or there will be a real crisis.


Called GP first thing, hurt knee, couldn’t walk. Was collected that afternoon, seen, diagnosed and offered to be taken home, via chemist (for my free prescription). 5⭐️

In the hashtag, as far as I read down, I couldn’t find one critical comment of NHSS.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have its faults and that there won;t be some negative comments as the day goes on. It would be weird if there were not.

Indeed the FM has accepted and apologised for delays.

My own family’s experience this winter has been, as most of you will know, the absolutely first class treatment my mother received at Ninewells in Dundee. Also, another family member had a baby in the same hospital just after Christmas, and again they reported nothing but total satisfaction with the way they were treated at the time and in the aftermath.

The UK’s health services are short of cash and they are short of staff. Scotland’s may be less so than the others, but it is a UK wide issue.

As well as the massive repayments of PFI debt that Mr Leonard’s party left us with, as a union we spend a good deal less than we should on health.


I remember somewhere back in the early part of this century, that Tony Blair promised to bring UK spending on health, as a percentage of GDP, up to the EU average. (I thought it strange, given how superior Britain thinks itself, that it wasn’t the other way round.)

Whilst progress has been made, we still fall behind most other G7 countries and much of the EU.

Brexit, as in so many other areas, must take some responsibility here too. European doctors, nurses and other staff are unsure of their careers in the UK. Recruitment from the 27 is sharply down and some people are returning home as they doubt the stability of their future here. They may be allowed to stay after Brexit, but as aliens, with no rights. People don’t want to do that on a long-term basis, and certainly not as they settle down, buy houses and have children.

An ageing population means that there is more need for hospital treatment, and people may need to stay longer in hospital.  Sad truth is it takes longer for older pople to recover than for younger. This was something which could easily have been planned for. All these older people didn’t suddenly appear out of the blue, after all.

Of course, throughout the UK, this winter has seen a particularly virulent flu virus which has doubled the numbers of people requiring beds.

No one pretends that it’s easy to run a health service. Not here, not in England or Northern Ireland, Wales or indeed anywhere else. But with limited funds, Scotland is doing better than most, and certainly all the other UK health services.

I suspect that Richard Leonard wanted to pick some choice complaints for next week’s First Minister’s Questions and for any interviews he might be able to give to the Press or TV in the meantime. And he may yet get some.

But I trust that any comments he makes in the chamber next Thursday will reflect the stories, good and bad, he is getting about the current situation, along with criticism of the utter waste of money that was and still is, PFI.

Feel free to share your stories, good or bad, with Mr Leonard, or with Munguin.


44 thoughts on “CARRY ON, DICK”

    1. That’s true. He thought Scotland had too much money. So he sent it back so they could spend it on England. Presumably this was to curry favour so he would get the ambassadorship to Malawi.

      Oh well, never mind. Isn’t he a milord now?

      Didn’t John Swinney get that money back in the end?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes. The nasty deed was done. What a legacy. I’m amazed this fool doesn’t run away and hide in a corner in shame rather than bring up any shortcomings in the health service here.

          He’s a leaver, so I’m sure he’ll be fighting for Scotland’s share of the £350 million a week for the health service.

          Won’t he?


  1. ‘She who must be obeyed’ and myself took the train down to the big smoke to see Dick Whittingdon at the Palladium. Thoroughly recommend it. There were some of the best double entendres around the name Dick that I’ve ever heard. Sadly age wins as I couldn’t remember any of them by the time we left the theatre.


  2. I had to go to the doctor’s t’other day. Not only did he see me on time but he treated me with respect and understanding. Ages ago I had to get a minor procedure. Surprisingly enough I was treated with respect and understanding. And, given it was by no manner of means an emergency, it was dealt with on time and respectfully.

    I have difficulty in understanding the issues that other folks appear to have. Clearly, if you are in an emergency room then triage may appear – to you – to be selective. But that is as it should be. The people whose lives are threatened should be the priority, not those of us with a sore thumb.

    I have nothing but admiration for the SNHS. It is a Rolls Royce of a service that I hope to have as little to do with as possible.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I just had a look at the egregious Dick’s twitter thingmie, in which he says: “Today I raised the case of 80 year old Tom Wilson and his 16 hour wait for hospital treatment at FMQs. Nicola Sturgeon must do more than apologise, she must take action to ensure the mistakes of this current NHS crisis are not repeated next winter.”

    Well, that’s a relief: no sudden, shocking changes from the constant Narrative of Failure based on the “too stupid” leg of “too wee, too poor, too stupid”. I’m just an old, disabled, housebound codger with a dodgy ticker who would be dead already several times over without the excellent, lifesaving treatment I received from NHS Scotland on occasions too many to count – too much shock and surprise, such as Labour in Scotland being fair, balanced and truthful about anything, might just finish me off…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It is absolutely terrible that 80-year-old Mr Watson was in casualty for 16 hours.

      Nicola Sturgeon must indeed do more. Let’s see, what could she do?

      Well, she could reverse Brexit so that some of the doctors and nurses would stay in Scotland rather than going back to France or Poland or Finland, just like Scotland voted. Oh, wait. Scotland has to do what England and Wales voted for in that matter.

      OK. She could demand that Britain spend the same percentage of GDP on health as other major European countries.
      Oh, wait. Scotland has no say in the overall budget, except Fluffy’s vote, and they send him to make the tea while important things are being discussed.

      OK OK… I’m thinking…

      Oh, I know. She could try to get out of all the massive debt Labour ran up in finance arrangements with rich Tories to build hospitals, etc. Oh, wait. The PFI agreements are watertight. Labour was stitched up royally by their partners.

      Wait, what about getting all the people who dodge taxes to pay them… Oh wait, that kind of thing is London’s responsibility.

      Well… tell you what, Dick, let’s have your suggestions. After all, you aspire to be a first minister. What would you do?

      Oh and don’t look to Wales for guidance. They don’t know their arse from their armpits.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. The “problem” IS the politicisation. It is shameful that people should be playing politics with people’s health. They should be working together to make things work, not score petty points all the time. In business people co-operate. Its not like the health service is competing with anyone. Its a public service. Its in everyone’s interest it works. Its in no-ones interest that people are frightened unnecessarily, and its in no-ones interest that ambulance chasers get a toe in the door because opportunists seize upon a moneymaking grievance.

    I have no complaints about my health care. Some of the other patients are a pain. Some people just moan for the hell of it.

    And lastly, we all know there’s a cold going the rounds. What is it with attention seekers that they just have to head to hospital? Stay in yer bed, take lots of fluids, and don’t go round spreading it.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agreed.

      But he can’t help it. It’s in his DNA.

      You know. He wakes up in the morning, looks out and it’s raining and he thinks: How can we blame this on the SNP?

      I bet he even hopes for snow so that he can blame Humza.

      Sickening second rater.

      At least Kenneth Williams was funny…and to be honest, clever.


  5. Speaking about Labour and twitter:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This one is a corker, Dan.

      Follow Follow @GAPonsonby

      Hard to believe but days after Sarah inflated Scotland’s A&E long wait stats, her colleague under reported England’s. 300,000 became 3000.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lol I made my contribution to Dick’s list. I’m absolutely certain he won’t use it!
    He better be aware that anyone he uses to attack the SNHS has to be legit or he’ll be found out pretty damn quickly!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂

      It’s a dodgy one to bang on about. Whatever your politics, you are probably rather glad of the SNHS. Either you’ve needed them yourself, or you know someone who has.

      Of course Dick will be criticising the SNP, because, well, they are BAAAAAD, but people may start to wonder if some of the criticism might be aimed a bit at the staff.

      And the staff, by and large, are angels.

      So, if I were him, I’d be a bit cautious.

      But then, I’m not him.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: SCOTLANDstill
  8. I’m a paediatric nurse working in NHS Scotland. All these attacks are beginning to feel that they have a personal grievance against the NHS in Scotland and the one thing these political lackeys don’t take into consideration, is that the doctors, nurses, porters, domestics, chefs, kitchen porters, physios, radiographer, SALT’s etc are the NHS. They, and I include tricky dicky in this, are attacking us, the staff, without which there would be no NHS. It’s high time somebody pointed this out to him.
    I’m not on Twitter, so anyone who is, please feel free to copy and paste to his post. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Grant.

      While they make their political points, they forget that among the people they are levelling their criticism at are people who are working so very very hard, and as you say that ranges across all the different jobs.

      As you may know if you read the blog regularly, I’ve had recently experience of NHSS. I’ve nothing but good to say about it, about the service and about the staff.

      So a personal thank you from me. You guys are just amazing. I’ve watched people from ambulances , porters, nurses, doctors, kitchen porters, receptionists, physios… and I have never failed to be impressed.

      Your post is too long for Twitter, but I’ll shorten it a bit and put it up.

      Thanks for posting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent! I mean, excellent that Grant’s post is being circulated, and getting a good response.

        In a way, I feel like egging the Usual Suspects on : with their NHS-bashing, because they are so blinded by their obsession with and hatred of the ESSEMPEEBAD, they are p*iss*ing off a large block of voters, i.e., NHS staff themselves.

        Come to think of it, it’s been a while since I heard of the Labour Branch Office or UNISON or any of the others squealing in faux outrage about ESSEMPEE CUTS – could it be that they have discovered that too many of us, and too many of their own members, have seen through that particular propaganda trope?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Dr TrisPriceWilliams‏

      From Grant Brown: I’m a paediatric nurse working in NHS Scotland. All these attacks are beginning to feel that they have a personal grievance against the NHS in Scotland and the one thing these political lackeys don’t take into consideration is that the doctors, nurses, porters,

      2:43 AM – 14 Jan 2018
      3 Retweets 2 Likes TartanTrews8Jayfer55lynne anderson
      1 reply 3 retweets 2 likes
      Reply 1 Retweet 3 Like 2 View Tweet activity
      New conversation

      Dr TrisPriceWilliams

      5h5 hours ago

      2/2 domestics, chefs, kitchen porters, physios, radiographer, SALT’s etc are the NHS. They, and I include tricky dicky in this, are attacking us, the staff, without which there would be no NHS. It’s high time somebody pointed this out to him.

      1 reply 0 retweets 3 likes
      Reply 1 Retweet Like 3 View Tweet activity

      Dr TrisPriceWilliams

      Politicians need to remember this. They are pissing off hard working dedicated good people.

      0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes
      Reply Retweet Like View Tweet activity


    3. Just saw this answer:

      Chris ward‏
      Follow Follow @rampitchfork

      Replying to @tristanpw1
      Yes and as an NHS worker and member of Unison I’m getting pretty pissed off with my union letting Labour away with kicking us constantly.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. and:
      Replying to @tristanpw1
      Cannot imagine how demoralising it must be to work your arse off all day, helping patients, then to come home, switch on TV and hear Jackie Bird telling you you are shit.

      Liked by 1 person

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