We’re all aware of just how much pressure NHS Ayrshire and Arran is under.

We can tell when we look at how long patients wait to be seen in A&E at Crosshouse Hospital.

Or when we see just how long it takes for an ambulance to arrive at the scene at homes across East Ayrshire.

That’s why I found it concerning to read last week that NHS Ayrshire and Arran have ‘no credible plan to meet a £26 million shortfall’.

I’m worried about the impact this will have on front-line services like our A&E departments, scheduled operations, and the number of beds in our hospitals.

Especially as this comes after the board agreed to unprecedented cuts of more than £24 million. 

The health board can’t make any more cuts to meet this shortfall.

And now they’re up against an extra £18 million in new cost pressures, a projected £10 million overspend on new medicines and over £3 million on servicing unfunded beds.

We can’t afford to see waiting times in our emergency departments increase any further.

And we can’t afford to see ambulances take longer to arrive at the scene, or any less beds available to treat patients in Crosshouse Hospital.

That’s why the SNP Government must support NHS Ayrshire and Arran to meet this £26 million shortfall.

The SNP know how much pressure the health board is under – and yet they’ve offered no uplift in funding this year.

And it’s worth remembering that it’s the SNP who have been in charge of our NHS here in East Ayrshire and across Scotland for the last 17 years.

They’ve taken their eye off the ball on our health service.

Instead of focusing on health the SNP has been distracted by the constitution and flawed policy like their Hate Crime Act and gender recognition law.

That’s why the General Election on July 4 matters.

It gives us the chance to elect an MP who is focused on the standard of care delivered at Crosshouse Hospital and by NHS Ayrshire and Arran more widely.

By voting Scottish Conservative on July 4, and pushing the SNP out of their seats here in Ayrshire and across Scotland, we’ll get MPs who are passionate about improving the NHS – and that’s what patients and health care staff in Ayrshire deserve.