6 September 2022
Responding to the latest Emergency Department performance figures for Scotland, Dr John-Paul Loughrey, Vice Chair of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:
“The latest Emergency Department performance figures for July should ring alarm bells to all political and health leaders. These are the worst performance figures since records began, with over 4,000 patients waiting 12-hours or more in major Emergency Departments in Scotland – equal to nearly one in every 25 patients.
“The depth and scale of this crisis is deeply concerning. Patients are already coming to harm, a consequence of long and dangerous waiting times. These data must be a call to action, especially as winter is fast approaching.
“The government must urgently expand capacity where safely possible; we know there is a shortfall of 1,000 beds in the health system in Scotland. The Scottish government and local authorities must also bolster the social care workforce. Good social care underpins an effective health service. Ensuring the timely discharge of patients, which relies on good social care, is crucial for freeing up beds, admitting patients and encouraging flow throughout the hospital.
“Lastly, we must see a long-term workforce plan for the NHS in Scotland. Staff have been pushed to the brink; burnout and distress are leading to health workers considering leaving the workforce. We must do all we can to retain staff as well as look to recruiting new staff into the health service. Without the workforce, more and more patients will face longer and longer waits and come to further harm. Our priority is patient safety and delivering effective care, that is only possible with a workforce that is not overwhelmed, not burnt out and not undervalued.”
Notes to editor