23 September 2022
Responding to the report by the Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross MSP at FMQs in which he said a recent FOI revealed a patient faced an 84-hour wait for admission, Dr JP Loughrey, Vice Chair of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:
“The report that a patient faced an 84-hour wait for admission is appalling and extremely distressing. This week saw the worst Emergency Department performance on record and record numbers of patients facing extremely long waits. It is a deeply concerning situation, especially as we are now heading into winter when we expect things to deteriorate further.
“Health care workers are doing all they can to minimise harm and deliver effective care, usually at the cost of their own wellbeing and burnout, but it is extremely challenging in present circumstances. We know these long stays in crowded Emergency Departments are associated with patient harm. The main cause of these long and dangerous delays in Emergency Departments is exit block, poor flow throughout the hospital, and difficulties in discharging patients.
“We urgently need to see the social care workforce bolstered to ensure the provision of care in the community and the timely discharge of patients. Further to that, there remains a shortfall of around 130 Emergency Medicine consultants across Scotland as well as shortages of vital nurses, junior doctors, trainees and supporting staff. We must see an NHS workforce plan in Scotland that includes measures to retain existing staff as well as recruit new staff. Lastly, we urgently need 1,000 beds to be created in the system. The situation is dire, the Scottish Government must act now before a deadly winter sets in.”