Restarting paused health services "on the backs of workers who are exhausted" is a failure in the first step of the Covid recovery, a Labour MSP has claimed. 

Planned surgeries have been pushed back at a number of hospitals amid a surge in patients and growing numbers of staff self-isolating. 

NHS Lothian patients are also being urged to consider visiting pharmacies, minor injury departments and GPs rather than going to A&E, while NHS Lanarkshire also confirmed a small number of operations were cancelled. 

The Scottish Government announced a "careful" resumption of paused services in June across the country's health boards. 


READ MORE: More health boards postpone operations due to Covid pressures

South Scotland MSP Martin Whitfield said the move created problems which "should have been anticipated". 

Speaking on a special coronavirus episode of the Brian Taylor Podcast, he added: "Covid was a risk that was going to seriously damage the NHS provision and we managed to protect that by cancelling operations, by dispensing cancer diagnosis and what we are seeing now is the consequence of that.

"This is a health service where experts have been saying that the summer was going to be really challenging with the opening up because A&E figures go up. We've always known that. 

"This was known by the people working in the NHS why wasn't it known and planned for better from the Government. 

However, SNP MP Dave Doogan responded to the claims on the podcast and said: “The NHS under control of the Scottish Government is in a demonstrably in better conditions than many trusts south of the border.”

He added the issue raised by the Labour MSP was about the lack of sufficient resources for the health service.

Mr Doogan said: “The Government can put in financial resources, and it can facilitate through higher education the human resource that comes along with that but when you have such an external trauma to a well-established system as Covid was to our health service you can’t suddenly just manufacture nurses, doctors, speech therapists, physiotherapists.

“They have to come through a training process. So, we are not even out of the pandemic so it is a bit much to criticise the Scottish Government for not resourcing the NHS when the principle way they do resource the NHS is through finance.”

The latest episode of the Brian Taylor Podcast is available on all streaming platforms.