Sturgeon defends NHS record after winter patient delays

Georgia Reed
January 14, 2018

"However, we are of course sorry for any extended waiting times experienced by patients and their families during this exceptionally busy period".

The letter adds that sometimes the consultants see over 50 patients at a time who are waiting to be shifted to a bed in the emergency departments.

Opposition party leaders criticised the Scottish Government's management of the health service during First Minister's Questions on Thursday.

Her statement to MSPs came as the latest weekly figures showed patients waiting more than four hours in A&E reached record levels during the last week of 2017.

NHS Forth Valley has apologised to patients attending the accident and emergency department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital after they had the longest waits in Scotland between Christmas and new year.

It asks the Prime Minister "as a matter of urgency" to consider supporting strategies to reduce crowding in A&E departments, including a "significant increase" in social care funding to allow patients who are fit to be discharged and a review of the number of hospital beds that are available for acute care.

Hospitals are reportedly overcrowded, struggling to cope and running out of beds.

Ms Davidson added: "As it stands, the SNP has cut bed numbers, and cut social care places".

Mrs May said that the cancellation of 55,000 appointments last week was "part of the plan" for the NHS this winter, but said of her Government's response so far "nothing is perfect".

They said this was because the NHS is so "chronically underfunded" and dangerously short-staffed.

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She said: 'As we know, every year and winter the National Health Service comes under additional pressure, and we've seen the extra pressures that the NHS has come under this year.

"Despite these challenges patient care has not been compromised and we have clinical oversight of all patients in A&E at all times".

An NHS England spokesman said there had been a "marked increase" in norovirus in recent weeks and the number of cases are now above the five-year average for this week.

Mr Wilson's son, Michael, said he phoned 999 seven times - only to be told that an ambulance was coming from Kelso instead of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary just 14 minutes away.

"Mr Wilson then spent 13 hours on a trolley in a corridor in A&E before being admitted to a general ward".

Health Secretary Shona Robison thanked both staff and patients across Scotland for their hard work and patience.

"That is an 80-year-old man with underlying health conditions waiting more than 16 hours for treatment".

"I said earlier this week, the health secretary said in the chamber, that we apologise unreservedly not just at winter but at any time of the year to any patient who waits longer than they should do for hospital treatment or doesn't get the standard of treatment that they have a right to expect and I do that again, unequivocally, today".

The Nat leader made a grovelling apology as Mr Wilson's ordeal was revealed in Holyrood by Labour chief Richard Leonard.

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