We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Hume: Answers show patients and health boards have been sold pig in a poke over A&E action plan

March 14, 2013 4:44 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat South Scotland MSP and healthJim HumeJim Hume spokesperson, has slammed the Health Secretary for selling patients a pig in a poke as answers to parliamentary questions reveal that there are still no substantial details on the Scottish Government's emergency care action plan.

A series of answers also revealed:
· Local health boards are being told to make savings to implement the Scottish Government's emergency action plan
· The Government has provided no detail on how much extra staff the plans will produce, despite the First Minister saying that there could be another 200 staff in A&E units across Scotland.
· Funds will not be allocated until after June - nearly six months after the plan was announced
· Despite the plan saying "Health boards… offer separate facilities for minor injuries beside or close to the Emergency Department," it will be for local health boards to decide.

Mr Hume has called on Health Secretary Alex Neil to work with health boards in order to ensure swift and safe implementation of the emergency care action plan, which was introduced after a record number of patients were found to have waited longer than 12 hours to be seen at an A&E unit.

Commenting, Mr Hume said:

"The Health Secretary's own answers reveal that patients and health boards have been sold a pig in a poke. Not only is the government's plan to tackle soaring A&E unit waiting times being funded by making cuts to other parts of the NHS, the Scottish Government have absolutely no clue as to what their plan will mean in practice.

"Patients who were left to languish for hours on hospital trolleys will be furious that plans will not be put into place for at least another six months. This looks like the SNP Government cares more about press releases and headlines than it does about patients and hospitals. Scottish Liberal Democrats are concerned that SNP ministers are once again dictating orders to local services but then leaving them to get on with implementing the real work.

"You can't have it both ways. This managerial approach to the NHS will do little to comfort health boards who are already being asked to do more with less. What seemed like grand plans for new minor injuries units at hospitals throughout Scotland have been revealed to be nothing more than an idea. It is even more concerning that the First Minister said there could be an additional 200 staff in our A&E units when it isn't even clear how many jobs local health boards will allocate.

"What is clear is that those jobs could be created through job losses elsewhere in the NHS.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats will be urging the Scottish Government to work with local health boards to ensure swift and safe implementation of the emergency care action plan."