HEALTH MATTERS: ACCESSING THE RIGHT CARE MORE QUICKLY

By Harry Bell

Over the past few days, across the country, there has been a very significant demand on all health services including Emergency Departments. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been appealing to the public to think twice before attending Emergency Departments.

The local Health Board would like to thank everyone for their co-operation in these difficult times. Public actions help to ensure that patients get the correct care they need more quickly, and help to ease the pressure on Emergency Departments and ​hospitals, let​ting the staff focus on delivering life-saving and essential emergency care.

However, the Health Board said: “We are aware that there is some uncertainty about the right ways to access care, and we are sorry for that.

“It is important to us that you know what do to when you need help so – in line with the national model of care, Right Care, Right Place – please consider the following advice:

  • All our partner GP surgeries across the Board area are open, and continue to provide great care for their communities. If you have a concern or a condition for which you would normally contact your GP, please continue to do so. If you are unwell in the evenings, overnight or at weekends and think you need a GP, please contact NHS24 on 111. Please do not go to a GP Out of Hours clinic without an appointment.
  • Remember, if you have a minor ailment, or would like some simple healthcare advice, your community pharmacy will be able to help.
  • If you are in any doubt about who you should contact, or if you think you or a loved one needs emergency treatment, please call NHS24 on 111. They will help you to access the appropriate care you need.
  • Please do not go to your Emergency Department unless you or your loved one’s condition is life-threatening.

For more information, please go to the NHSGGC website, or to NHS Inform.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have today requested an Urgent Question be heard in the Scottish Parliament in response to record breaking waits in A&E departments for the fourth consecutive week.

In the week ending 29 August 2021, 7,105 people waited longer than four hours to be processed after attending A&E, breaching the SNP’s waiting times target for 25.8% of patients.

In NHS Forth Valley, almost half of patients (43%) waited longer than four hours to be seen.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP., left, said:  “The situation in emergency departments is desperate. Hospitals are under insurmountable and unprecedented pressure. People are suffering as a result.  

“Scotland’s A&E departments are bordering on meltdown. For four consecutive weeks there have been record breaking waits. Health boards have issued galling warnings, asking people not to attend unless their lives are in danger. That wouldn’t happen unless the situation was truly dire.

“In the face of this crisis, the Health Secretary has offered no immediate support, resource or intervention. Both the parliament and the public need to be reassured that the Scottish Government recognise the scale of this crisis, and that they will act accordingly.

“If nothing is done, things will only get worse.”

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