Ayrshire drug-related hospital stays among the highest in Scotland

A Scottish Labour MSP has claimed that the Scottish Government has ‘failed local health boards’ after statistics revealed that NHS Ayrshire & Arran is among the worst areas in the country from drug-related hospital stays.

Katy Clark, Labour MSP for West Scotland has called on Ministers to ‘come forward with a serious plan’ following the publication of the figures that showed that the drug-related hospital stay rate in NHS Ayrshire & Arran is 226 per 100,000 population in 2022/23 - the third highest of all health boards.

That number is also significantly higher than the Scotland-wide figure of 182 per 100,000 population.

Katy Clark MSP said: “Scores of people continue to have their lives ruined by drugs in the West of Scotland, but it does not need to be this way.

“The Scottish Government has failed to support local health boards, failed to establish promised drug checking facilities and failed to ramp up support for rehabilitation and treatment services.

“Social and economic issues are the main drivers of the drug problem, which is why the Scottish Government must work with local authorities to secure greater multi-disciplinary funding and resources to tackle this public health issue.

“It is time for Ministers to wake up to the reality, deliver on promises, reverse cuts to services and come forward with a serious plan to tackle this health emergency.”

Drugs and Alcohol Minister Christina McKelvie commented: “Through our £250 million National Mission we are expanding access to a variety of support, including residential rehabilitation and rolling out Medication Assisted Treatment standards to reduce drug deaths and harms and ensure that care is available to everyone who requires it.

“We have increased funding to community organisations and supported innovative safer drug consumption facilities and drug checking services which will test for potential contamination. This is helping families and communities affected by problem drug use.”

Read next:

Don't miss the latest Ayrshire headlines – sign up to our free daily newsletter