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NHS England-NHS Scotland Co-operation

Volume 737: debated on Wednesday 13 September 2023

8. Whether he has held recent discussions with Cabinet colleagues and the Scottish Government on increasing co-operation between NHS England and NHS Scotland. (906286)

The United Kingdom Government support collaboration between all our nations to share best practice, improve transparency and provide better accountability for patients. Ministerial colleagues at the Department of Health and Social Care have written to the Scottish Government inviting them for talks on how we can work together to tackle long-term waiting lists in all parts of the United Kingdom.

If someone is sick and their life is in danger, is it not the case that the border between Scotland and England should not get in the way of the best possible health outcome?

The hon. Member makes an extremely important point—that is something about which I am acutely aware as a Borders MP. Indeed, I have a constituent who lives in Foulden who has been told that they will need to wait over three years to have their cataracts seen to in Scotland. Meanwhile, their neighbours, who are registered with a GP in England, are being treated by NHS England within six months. My constituent simply does not understand that discrepancy. The SNP Government in Edinburgh should be doing much more to drive down NHS waiting lists and engage with colleagues in Westminster to ensure that all people across these islands get the best possible NHS services.