Nicola Sturgeon press conference: RECAP as Nicola Sturgeon holds briefing on Scottish NHS pressures

Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Gregor Smith will hold a media briefing on winter pressures in the NHS.

The First Minister will be joined by the Health Secretary at St Andrews House amid growing pressure on the health service across the country.

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The First Minister may also give an update on strike action in the NHS, after last week, the Royal College of Nursing Scotland paused a formal announcement of strike action following further talks with the Scottish Government.

Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Gregor Smith will hold a media briefing on winter pressures in the NHS.Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Gregor Smith will hold a media briefing on winter pressures in the NHS.
Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf and Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Gregor Smith will hold a media briefing on winter pressures in the NHS.

Talks took place on Friday January 13 with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and RCN general secretary and chief executive, Pat Cullen.

There was also talks earlier this week that took place between the Scottish Government, the RCN, and the other trade unions currently in dispute regarding NHS pay, to consider a roadmap to resolving the dispute.

Updates as Nicola Sturgeon holds briefing on Scottish NHS pressures

The First Minister is asked on the hospital occupancy, she says that the figure of 95% occupancy has not changed, but that the figure remains “broadly in the same”

Nicola Sturgeon is asked about Sir Keir Starmer’s comments on gender laws and whether there is a case for use of a section 35 order.

The First Minister says says it would be an “outrage” if the UK Government used a section 35 order to block GRR reforms outlining how rare such an order would be.

She adds that it would be a slippery slope if the UK Government was to intervene.

Nicola Sturgeon says the GRR reform is only becoming a political issue because Westminster are getting involved.

She says that politicians such as Sir Keir Starmer need to understand that the legislation was not passed by the SNP but by the Scottish Parliament.

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Nicola Sturgeon says there has been a “slight easing” of pressures on the NHS as she said the Scottish Government was working with a major hospital to free up more capacity for non-urgent elective procedures.

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Whilst issuing advice and updates on the NHS, the First Minister has also fielded some questions from the media on gender reform laws.

The deadline for Rishi Sunak to decide whether to block Scotland’s gender laws will arrive this week as he considers legal advice about its impact.

Background and further details HERE

It is “hard to overstate the importance” of NHS staff postponing planned strike action, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Unions which had previously rejected a government pay offer at the end of last year announced last week that planned action would be paused following talks.

“I’m very pleased to say that as a result of further discussions between the Health Secretary and health trade unions last week, the prospect of any immediate strike action in NHS Scotland has been removed,” the First Minister said during a briefing on NHS pressures.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of that – I don’t want NHS staff to feel the need to strike at any time, but the impact on patients and, indeed, on staff would have been especially difficult.”

She thanked unions for their participation in discussions and said she hoped a deal could be agreed quickly.

Nicola Sturgeon has said it would be “disgraceful” for the UK Government to try to block Scotland's controversial gender recognition legislation.

Full story HERE

The FIrst Minister has said Scotland’s A&E departments would be able to respond to a major incident such as a bus crash or a train crash and that hospitals would be able to handle a major incident.

Nicola Sturgeon says they have “a high degree of confidence” in the NHS.