NHS crisis: Nine-year-old in ‘excruciating pain for seven months’

The boy’s mother has warned the Scottish Government that the long wait for treatment is “completely unacceptable”.

The First Secretary has insisted the NHS remains a priority for her government after being pressured by Labor leader Anas Sarwar.

At the First Secretary’s questions, the Labor leader pointed to previous clashes and accused Ms Sturgeon of “defending the untenable” and urging patients to “accept the unacceptable”.

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Mr Sarwar added: “After almost 16 years in government, the performance of our NHS is the worst on record.

“It takes a serious plan to fix it.

“So does the First Minister agree that continuity, mediocrity and incompetence are not enough?”

In response, Ms Sturgeon said the NHS will be the “continuous focus” for anyone replacing her at Bute House.

She stressed that health services around the world “continue to face challenges, primarily because of the pandemic.”

Ms Sturgeon said: “Because of the recovery plan, because of the record investment we are putting into the NHS, the record number of staff, we are now seeing progress on that recovery.”

But Mr Sarwar warned that “incompetence has grave consequences”.

He pointed to comments from pediatric surgeon Dr. Chris Adams, who said Sarwar had claimed “patients are understaffed” and added that “he’s had enough”.

Mr Sarwar said: “Crucially he says it’s not because of Covid.

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“One of Dr. Adams is Harvey Martin. Harvey is nine years old. He suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow in the nervous system.

“In August last year he was told he would need urgent surgery within four weeks to correct a curve and his spine.

“Seven months later, he’s still waiting. The curve is now damaging his internal organs. And he is left in excruciating pain.

“A nine-year-old who was in excruciating pain for seven months.

“It is a serious consequence of incompetence.”

The Labor leader added: “His mother, Natalie, told me yesterday that she can no longer see her child in pain.

“She is reviewing private options and will be raising funds for Harvey’s treatment.

“First Minister, why do children have to wait so long for urgent treatment? And why must families consider paying to relieve their child’s pain?”

Harvey’s mother said she was “absolutely appalled” by the situation.

Ms Martin added: “Harvey is in constant pain, struggles to sleep and misses school and other activities.

“It is totally unacceptable these days for this to happen in Scotland.

“My son’s health has deteriorated with the risk of serious complications. We just can’t wait any longer for treatment.”

Ms Sturgeon admitted that “no parent should think about it”.

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She said she “doesn’t know the details of Harvey’s case” but committed to “investigating it and responding more fully”.

Ms Sturgeon stressed that “today we have a record number of staff in our NHS”.

She added: “We have more staff per capita than NHS England. We have a higher number of nurses, midwives and doctors than in healthcare and other parts of the UK.”

But Mr Sarwar insisted the medical expert had said the problem “didn’t stem from Covid”, adding that “the first minister is hiding behind Covid”.

He added: “Incompetence has serious consequences. Incompetence may be funny in the SNP leadership debate, but incompetence in government means people are losing their lives right now.

“Thousands of people are choosing to pay for treatment because they cannot wait for the NHS.

“BBC research shows that one in five people say they or a family member has paid for medical treatment, one in five.

“This is a crisis that has been unfolding for 16 years due to SNP’s mismanagement of our NHS and none of the candidates to replace Nicola Sturgeon are up to the task of remedying it as the people who caused the problem certainly cannot be the ones who need to fix the problem.”

But Ms Sturgeon accused the Labor leader of “wanting to pretend Covid didn’t happen”.

She added: “Yes, there was pressure on our NHS before that, but everyone understands the significant aggravation of Covid on the NHS. This is the case in Scotland, Wales, England and most other countries in Europe and the world.”

She added: “I have been in this post for more than eight years. I took the duty and responsibility of this office seriously.

“I will continue to do so for the remaining days of my tenure. I know whoever comes after me will do the same.”

https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/23374854.nhs-crisis-nine-year-old-excruciating-pain-seven-months/?ref=rss NHS crisis: Nine-year-old in ‘excruciating pain for seven months’

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