Revealed: The facts about the SNP’s A&E crisis
11 February 2015
The extent of the SNP government's A&E crisis has been revealed today, as Scottish Labour set out the facts about A&E under the SNP.
Yesterday the Scottish Government announced a special team would be sent to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley to support its A&E department, after recent figures revealed that nearly a quarter of patients (23%) had to wait more than four hours to be seen.
However the Royal Alexandra is not the only A&E site in Scotland struggling to meet waiting times targets.
The Western Infirmary/Gartnavel hospital complex has the poorest performance for waiting times in Scotland with a third of patients - 1470 people - waiting for more than four hours in December.
Only seven of Scotland's 32 core A&E sites met the government's target of 98% of patients to be seen within four hours.
And today a report by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) showed that equipment, including patient trolleys, in the A&E department of the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy was contaminated with blood and bodily fluids. The report found:
· 10 patient trolley frames contaminated with blood and/or body fluids
· 8 patient chairs contaminated with blood and/or body fluids
· blood contamination on one of two blood gas analysers
Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Jenny Marra said :
“The extra support heading towards the Royal Alexandra Hospital is welcome, but it is overdue.
"We have been telling the Health Secretary
and the First Minister for weeks that our A&Es are under extreme
pressure but it has taken them weeks to take action.
“But this isn’t an isolated incident; the SNP cannot simply try to solve problems in Paisley when Glasgow, Fife and departments up and down the country face similar pressures seeing patients and finding beds for them in our hospitals.
"And the HIS report on the dirty equipment in the Victoria Hospital's A&E department is very alarming."
“Last week the head of BMA Scotland warned that the NHS was operating on the goodwill of staff, and if the staffing crisis isn't dealt with, the NHS could fall apart.
"This is not a problem in one hospital; this is
nationwide complex problem which the SNP have allowed to build up over
years of simply managing the NHS on a day to day basis.
“The NHS is special to every man, woman and child in Scotland. It is there for us in times of need, of sorrow and of joy.
"Scottish Labour has
pledged 1000 extra nurses paid for by a UK wide mansion tax to start to
solve the staffing shortages in the health service.
"I hope the teams are able to ease pressure in Paisley's A&E so patients can get the treatment they need as quickly as possible."