The scale of the challenge facing newly appointed health secretary Neil Gray has been revealed in a new report that shows the Scottish NHS is now treating fewer patients than it was before the pandemic despite an increase in funding and staff.

Gray, who was wellbeing economy secretary, was handed responsibility for the health portfolio yesterday following the resignation of incumbent Michael Matheson, who is being investigated by the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB) after last year becoming embroiled in a scandal over the use of a parliamentary iPad.

It comes as independent economic research institute the IFS publishes a report that details how there has been “a significant fall in hospital productivity” in Scotland in the years since the pandemic, with delayed discharge and the reduction in the number of hospital beds contributing to a drop in the number of patients being treated. That is despite staff numbers and spending increasing.

According to the report, the Scottish NHS handled 21 per cent fewer elective inpatient admissions between April and June last year – the most recent period for which data is available – than in the three months between October and December 2019.

There were also eight per cent fewer emergency admissions, nine per cent fewer elective day patients and eight per cent fewer outpatient appointments.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Economic Matters

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