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SNP still have their eye off the ball on A&E waiting times

March 10, 2015 12:33 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has said SNP ministers still have their eye off the ball as the latest weekly A&E figures showed little improvement against Scottish Government targets.

Figures published today showed that in the week ending Sunday 1st March, 86.9 percent of people were treated and discharged within four hours. This compares to 86 percent during the previous week. The figures also showed that in that week, 578 patients spent more than eight hours in A&E and 186 spent more than 12 hours waiting to be seen in A&E units across Scotland.

Earlier this month it was revealed that the Medical Director of NHS 24 warned that staff were under too much pressure "which was not sustainable in the long term." The call centres struggled to fill 10 percent of frontline vacancies, whilst the number of calls to the service has increased by around 20 percent.

Commenting, Mr Hume said:

"With 186 patients waiting over 12 hours to be seen in the space of one week at Scotland's A&E units, it is clear SNP ministers still have their eye off the ball on day to day services. NHS staff are doing their best to manage the crisis in our A&E units but this kind of pressure requires leadership from the top of Government.

"SNP Ministers shouldn't trivialise the fact that thousands of patients each week are still facing waits which go far beyond the target waiting time. Instead, they should tell patients what new plans they are going to bring forward to better support our NHS.

"Only recently we have seen the extent of pressure facing other frontline services such as NHS24. It's time the SNP Government got a grip."