Candidate highlights social care

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Lib Dem candidate Andrew Metcalf has been highlighting his party’s plans to support health and social care.

Speaking while out campaigning in Newton Stewart, Andrew said Liberal Democrats would make sure that health funding keeps pace with increases elsewhere in the UK, and would increase by at least inflation every year.

He said: “One of the biggest threats to local health services is the problem of recruiting staff, both in our local hospitals and our GP surgeries. Valuable funds are being spent employing temporary locum staff instead of investing in our own permanent staff. The SNP Scottish Government’s policy of public sector jobs centralisation in the Central Belt has not helped us here in Galloway and we’ve seen similar moves by our own Labour led council, with jobs and services moving from Stranraer, Newton Stewart and Kirkcudbright to Dumfries. That means that when we try to attract skilled clinical staff to the area there are fewer career opportunities for their partners locally.”

Andrew added: “Recruiting, retaining and training more GPs is crucial in sustaining our local health service. Liberal Democrats in government would increase the proportion of NHS funding allocated to primary care, which could help increase the number of nurses and other health professionals working in general practice.”

He added the Lib Dems would also invest more in mental health support and would double the mental health budget for children and young people.