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Buzz News Post > Scotland's politicians back No Life Half Lived campaign
The Buzz > Scotland's politicians back No Life Half Lived campaign

Scotland's politicians back No Life Half Lived campaign

Scottish politicians across the political spectrum are backing Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s vision of No Life Half Lived.

As Scotland prepares to vote in the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary elections, we are asking our political party leaders to promise they’ll do more to ensure Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Hospital to Home service is there for all.

Thousands of people are missing out on this life-changing support - and we’ve asked our politicians to help change that.

No Life Half Lived aims to ensure everyone gets the care and support they need, when and where they need it. Our Hospital to Home service provides vital one-to-one support to help those recovering from a chest, heart or stroke condition so they can stay well at home and manage their condition.

But there’s more to be done, and we need our political leaders to help us achieve this.

The potential to save lives

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said the No Life Half Lived campaign is a “really important one, which has the potential to save lives.”

She added: “Helping people get back home from hospital and live well is so important, and I am committed to making sure the whole of Scotland can benefit from this approach.

"The Coronavirus pandemic has been a huge challenge for everyone in Scotland, and without question, the biggest I have faced in the five and a half years I have been privileged to serve as First Minister.

"COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people, and I want to convey my sincere thanks to Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland for the vital work they have done this year, and continue to do, to support people and communities across Scotland.

"The Scottish Government’s Respiratory Care Action Plan will set out our vision for driving improvement in the diagnosis, treatment and care for those living with respiratory conditions. It identifies key priorities to improve outcomes for people living with respiratory conditions in Scotland and seeks to encourage new and innovative approaches while sharing best practice," Ms Sturgeon explains.

"We also remain absolutely committed to wider engagement with key stakeholders across broader policy areas, including mental health, poverty and COVID-19 recovery to ensure the best support for those living with chest, heart or stroke conditions.

"Since the SNP was elected to Government, NHS funding has been protected, the number of people working in it has increased, and waiting times have been reduced.

"But we know that we can and must go further to meet the challenges facing Scotland’s health services – and ensure that new solutions are in place to meet new challenges. Our NHS is our most cherished public service - we will never stop working to ensure that everyone in Scotland gets the care and support they need, when and where they need it."

Better care delivered in our communities

Anas Sarwar no life half lived

Anas Sarwar MSP became leader of Scottish Labour in March and immediately threw his weight behind our campaign.

He said: “The Hospital to Home service has been invaluable for so many individuals, especially during the pandemic and we agree that it should be open to all those that would benefit.

"Scottish Labour believe that our health services should be there for everyone; and we know that a person’s need for care and support does not end when they leave hospital. Chest, heart and stroke conditions can have serious and long lasting effects on a person’s physical and mental health that no one should have to cope with alone.

"Giving people the treatment and support they need when they need it, whether that’s advice and information, help to reduce loneliness, or assistance with rehabilitation exercises, is the right thing to do not only for the individuals impacted but also for the long term sustainability of our NHS," Mr Sarwar adds.

"Covid-19 and the lockdown measures have been deeply damaging for Scotland’s health, which is why the priority for the next Parliament must be on recovery, with a full restart plan for the NHS right at the centre.

"Scottish Labour want patients to benefit from the best evidence-based care so we will invest in our specialist workforces and ensure that Scotland has a thrombectomy service available to all who need it. We agree that people with chest, heart and stoke conditions need improvement in long-term care, so as well as a new heart disease strategy and fully funded Respiratory Action Plan, Scottish Labour are proud to support the Right to Rehab campaign.

"Long-Covid has highlighted the importance of good rehabilitation so we want to see better care delivered in our communities to both help people recover once they leave hospital and support individuals to live fulfilling lives," he explains.

"Restoring NHS services cannot merely be return to the way things were. Instead we need to focus on tackling inequalities, ensure services are properly patient-centred. and guarantee that we are never again in a position where health services have to choose between treating a virus or caring for those with life-threatening conditions."

Scots with long-term conditions must be prioritised

Douglas Ross MP, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, gave his backing to No Life Half Lived and said his party’s priority in the next Scottish Parliament would be on support for those living with long-term conditions.

He said: “I believe people with chest, heart or stroke conditions need access to the right support after leaving hospital to regain their independence and keep them well.

“As the NHS recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is essential people with long-term conditions continue to receive the support they need. They are likely to have been hit hard by lockdowns, particularly those required to shield, and many people are also now learning to adapt to new chronic conditions after developing Long Covid.

"The support available to Scots living with long-term conditions must be prioritised – to improve their quality of life and overall health and wellbeing, as well as to prevent them from returning to hospital unnecessarily," he adds.

"Technology should be utilised where it would improve peoples’ independence or support ongoing monitoring of their health. Services should be coordinated so people are not having to repeatedly explain their needs and there should no longer be a postcode lottery – every Scot, no matter where they live, should be able to access the same support."

Can't allow progress to slide

Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, also offered his support to the No Life Half Lived campaign. He said his party’s manifesto for the Holyrood elections would “give a voice to representative groups and charities who are working hard to make lives better”.

"Across the health service the pandemic means we are behind on diagnosis and treatment, so we need to get ahead on prevention, support and research."

He added: "We will listen to NHS staff about how to build a strong NHS and conduct a major national effort to improve wellbeing, to listen and act on personal lived experiences, to identify and tackle the barriers to good health and recover from the pandemic.

"We can’t allow the progress that we have seen in tackling heart disease and strokes to slide. There is still a huge deprivation divide, with statistics showing that those from the poorest backgrounds are around twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease as the most well off.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats will act to tackle the factors that underpin these conditions, such as smoking, a lack of exercise and poor diets, as well as boosting resources in our most deprived areas."

Exactly what is needed

Patrick Harvie, co-leader of the Scottish Green Party, also backed the No Life Half Lived campaign, saying it delivers the care at home and in the community that “is exactly what is needed”.

He said: “This holistic approach empowers people and helps them manage their condition. We are proposing significant increases in investment in public health, particularly into community health, which plays such an important role in supporting those with chest, heart and stroke conditions.

"We also believe it is important to tackle the root causes of these conditions, and are calling for bold action to tackle air pollution, which is linked to thousands of early deaths every year in Scotland, and to achieve a smoke-free generation.

"We are also calling for the development of a heart disease plan for Scotland focused on improving detection and diagnosis and ensuring that everyone with suspected heart disease has equitable access to timely treatment, and will introduce a community-based detection and diagnosis programme for high blood pressure and high cholesterol."

Find out more about how our Hospital to Home service is helping people recover by visiting chss.org.uk/coronavirus/hospital-to-home

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