THE Conservative Government is scapegoating GPs for problems the Government has caused itself.

Most of the councils’ budgets come from national government. With the Conservatives cutting these since 2010, social care budgets in England and Wales were cut by one-third between 2010 and 2015. And cuts have continued since 2015

This means less carers for elderly and disabled people, some of whom need 24 hour care. So they end up being sent to A & E and put in hospital beds, because there’s nowhere else left they’ll get care.

Add to this a rising proportion of elderly people in the population, who require more NHS treatment; and continual breakthroughs allowing new treatments that weren’t available before.

There are those who claim the NHS needing more funding every year shows it’s a failed model. Any healthcare system that ensured no-one was denied necessary treatment, facing the same issues, would require the same funding increases though.

Rather than provide the necessary funding to deal with these issues, the Government’s increases in NHS spending have been the lowest ever. The King’s Fund found the 2010 to 2015 Coalition Government’s increase in NHS spending at 0.84 per cent a year was the lowest of any government since 1945.

The Health Foundation found Chancellor George Osborne cut public health spending by 20 per cent while boasting of no NHS spending cuts, by using a very narrow definition of “NHS spending” that excluded things like training for junior doctors.

Any overall cuts in UK government spending reduce the Scottish Government’s budget through the Barnett formula.

Dr Peter Bennie (“NHS at breaking point”, The Herald, January 16 is right that funding is not keeping pace with demand on the NHS in Scotland either. But again the Conservative Government is the main culprit.

Duncan McFarlane,

Beanshields, Braidwood, Carluke.