By Lucy Ashton
Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has warned that ‘lives are on the line’ as another week of dismal A&E figures has been recorded.
Statistics published today have shown that only 71.4 per cent of attendances at A&E in the week ending 31st October were seen within four hours. 1,592 patients spent over eight hours in A&E, with 483 waiting over 12 hours.
In NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde only 72.1% of patients were seen within four hours. Similarly in NHS Highland, 80.6% of patients were seen within the four hour target.
These are among the worst weekly A&E times on record and come only a week after the worst ever weekly rate was recorded, Jackie, pictured right, added.
With Scotland bracing for the impact of Cop26 on the NHS, Scottish Labour has today said that ‘lives are on the line’ if action is not taken now to ensure A&E departments are properly supported this winter.
Jackie Baillie said: “Week after week we are confronted with statistics that show that A&E services are overwhelmed.
“These are not just numbers on a page. These are people in dire need of medical help who are not receiving the swift attention they deserve.
“NHS staff have been nothing short of heroic in keeping A&E services going, but it is clear that government inaction is now putting lives on the line.
“With the Covid-19 impact of Cop26 yet to be felt, it is imperative that the Health Secretary acts to support our A&E staff on the frontline.”
Meanwhile, the LibDems are also angry. New reports reveal nurses feeling forced to leave the profession because of the conditions that result from the recruitment crisis.
Health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton, pictured left, said: “These waiting times are intolerable for patients and staff, and leave the public vulnerable.
“The NHS shouldn’t be expected to just suck up the pressure and muddle through the winter with fingers crossed. They are dealing with life-or-death situations. As doctors have shown, waiting too long for treatment causes people even more harm – and they can sometimes be fatal.
“The recruitment crisis is in a vicious circle. Because of cuts made by the SNP, there aren’t enough staff on the ground. The lack of staff makes the pressure so much worse, and even more people leave as a result. Staff are in a downwards spiral.
“While the Health Secretary tries to plaster over the cracks, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the cuts run too deep. That’s why we need an independent review into the unnecessary deaths caused by this waiting times crisis, for lessons to be learned and for accountability to be sure.”