Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Topical question time

Health Secretary Alex Neil said that NHS boards had been given an extra £3m to help manage winter pressures and to make sure patients were not delayed in hospital, on 8 January 2013.

Mr Neil said: "NHS boards will use the extra money to make sure people can be discharged from hospital as soon as ready."

He was answering a question from Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume who asked what steps the government were taking to ensure that NHS accident and emergency units were able to cope with increased demand on their services during the winter.

Mr Hume said that "little over a month since that £3m in winter surge capacity funding was promised in order to, in the cabinet secretary's words, make sure the winter runs smoothly, we are reading alarming reports in the media from consultants that accident and emergency units are so overstretched some patient are waiting up to 12 hours to be assessed".

He said the additional funding had clearly failed and "with the national four hour target likely to be under threat for January does the cabinet secretary agree that more simply must be done to ensure the timely treatment of patients with the dignity and respect they deserve?".

Mr Neil said "the Scottish government is working, and has been working, with the college of emergency medicine to make sure that any problems are quickly addressed".

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone then asked Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse what assistance the government was providing to the victims of recent flooding in Stonehaven and other areas.

Mr Wheelhouse said that on Christmas Eve he visited Stonehaven and Brechin and "saw first hand the devastation and distress caused by this flooding".

He said that the Scottish government had given "a strong commitment to work with those local authorities whose communities had been affected to support them in anyway they can".

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