Malcolm calls on the Scottish Government to fund the NHS in Lothians fairly
Questions on the Royal Hospital for Sick Children Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
I thank the cabinet secretary for the detailed answer that she gave me when I asked her about the sick children's hospital during a previous question time. She talked about revenue support for the annual charges that will be required for the new privately built hospital, but she did not say whether there would be 100 per cent revenue support or something short of that. Does she accept that if support is short of 100 per cent there will be further pressure on the revenue budgets of NHS Lothian, which are already under strain because, as she knows, the board is not yet receiving the full share that it is due under the funding formula?

Nicola Sturgeon (The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing):
Malcolm Chisholm takes a keen and welcome interest in such matters as a constituency member. He will understand that although I sympathise with the position that NHS Lothian is in - it is not the only board to be in such a position in relation to the NHS Scotland resource allocation committee formula - I am obliged to point out that that was also the position when he was Minister for Health and Community Care. The situation is not new and we are progressively working towards resolving it, as indeed Malcolm Chisholm was doing when he was the minister.

While the details of the new procurement strategy are being worked through there are questions about which we cannot yet be definitive. I hope that Malcolm Chisholm will take what I say in the spirit in which it is intended: we are determined to work with NHS Lothian to ensure that the new sick kids hospital can be delivered as quickly as possible, which will mean providing as much support as we can do to enable that to happen. There is a productive relationship, in which the pressures under which NHS Lothian and all health boards work are very much recognised. We all want the new hospital to be delivered as quickly as possible.
January 13th 2011 (Column 32201)