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Daily Record
Daily Record
Shannon Milmine

NHS Lanarkshire records its worst ever A&E waiting times

Recent statistics reveal that NHS Lanarkshire has recorded its worst ever performance times at A&E units – with less than half of patients being seen within four hours.

Figures released by Public Health Scotland show that three of the six worst performing emergency departments in Scotland are in Lanarkshire.

A total of 1960 patients waited over four hours to be seen across the health board, And 770 patients waited over eight hours while 322 had to wait over 12 hours.

The recent numbers reveal that only 49.1 percent of patients were seen at A&E across the health board in under four hours as of the week ending October 30.

NHS Lanarkshire has three emergency units, and at Hairmyres Hospital only 42.2 per cent of patients were seen within four hours whilst 52.7 per cent were seen at Monklands Hospital and 52.7 per cent at Wishaw General.

NHS Lanarkshire have stated that the hospitals are experiencing higher levels of patients than usual, therefore waiting times are significantly higher.

Judith Park, NHS Lanarkshire director of acute services, told us : “All three of our hospitals are currently operating well above normal capacity which is having a significant impact on service provision and waiting times at our emergency departments.

“Across our system, pressures have continued to increase due to such factors as COVID-19 infections, rising attendances and workforce availability.

"All of this has contributed to a very understandable sense of frustration and distress for service users, carers and their families, as well as for staff across our teams and services.

“We prioritise and treat people based on the seriousness of their condition.

"All our emergency departments remain open, but we are urging everyone intending to turn up that, unless their condition is life-threatening, to consider the alternatives. You can call NHS 24 on 111 day or night, where you will be directed to the right NHS service. If you just need health care advice, then please use the NHS Inform website.”

Local politicians have called the Scottish Government out over the waiting times at A&E departments in Lanarkshire.

Labour MSP for Central Scotland Monica Lennon, said: “It is becoming harder and harder for people in Lanarkshire to have confidence that the Scottish Government is capable of getting our accident and emergency departments out of crisis-mode.

“Worryingly, the data shows that A&E waiting times in Lanarkshire have reached a new all-time low, and many of my constituents tell me they are afraid of getting sick.

“Staff and patients are being badly let down and the buck stops with the Health and Social Care Secretary and the First Minister. Healthcare workers are exhausted and staffing levels are far from safe.

“For over a year I have been raising the alarm about NHS Lanarkshire’s code black status with Humza Yousaf and I am deeply concerned the situation is getting worse.

“Many of my constituents are asking how bad this crisis must get before the Scottish Government finally gets a grip. I will continue to press SNP ministers to give NHS and social care services in Lanarkshire the support that we need.”

And fellow Central Scotland Labour MSP Mark Griffin also called on the Health Secretary to do better, saying: “Just a few weeks back, waiting times at Scottish A&Es were the worst on record. The latest statistics show that, instead of getting better, they’ve got worse.

“Our NHS staff go above and beyond to diagnose and treat people as quickly, and as effectively, as they can – but they need help.

“The Health Secretary has had months to turn the tide and he has failed to do so. He needs to get a grip or make way for someone that will.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf stated that the NHS is facing challenges but the Scottish Government is committed to injecting funding into the service to relieve struggles.

He said: “COVIDcontinues to impact the delivery and performance of services and pandemic backlogs, Brexit-driven staff shortages, and inflation costs have all contributed to make this the most challenging winter the NHS has ever faced. Despite this, I am clear that A&E performance is not where I want it to be.

“Delayed discharge continues to be the single biggest factor driving up A&E waits.

"We are striving to ensure people leave hospital without delay and receive the right care in the right setting, ensuring vital hospital beds are there for those who need them most. We all have a part to play in reducing pressure on services this winter and I would urge people to only attend A&E if their condition is an emergency.

“Our £600m winter plan which will see us recruit 1000 new NHS staff, including up to 750 frontline nurses from overseas.

"Our £50m Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative looks to drive down A&E waits through scheduled urgent appointments, Hospital at Home and directing people to most appropriate care.

“Our Near Me platform allows patients to attend virtual hospital and GP appointments from home and is already being used for around 40,000 consultations a month.

Our new expansion of this scheme to community settings will further help to ease pressure on services, saving people time and money travelling to appointments.”

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