4 October 2022
Responding to both the latest Emergency Department performance figures for Scotland for August 2022 and yesterday’s announcement by the Health Secretary of the Winter Resilience Overview 2022-23, Dr John-Paul Loughrey, Vice Chair of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:
“The latest Emergency Department performance figures for August show a fall in performance for the third consecutive month. We are heading into a very dark and grim winter. Staff are exhausted and are anxious about the months ahead, patients are deeply worried about facing long and dangerous waits for emergency care.
“The Health Secretary yesterday announced the Winter Resilience Overview 2022-23. We welcome the focus on and investment in social care, it is imperative that we bolster the social care workforce to ensure the timely discharge of patients and improve flow throughout our hospitals.
“However, the scale of patient harm occurring as a result of these extremely long waits for admission require more meaningful and urgent intervention and engagement by those empowered to make changes. Measures that focus on the avoidance of low acuity patients attending Emergency Departments will not work. The priority must be on increasing the available bed base and a medium- to long-term vision for increasing staff numbers across all grades with an NHS workforce plan for Scotland.
“We appreciate the challenges that the Scottish Government face and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss measures to mitigate patient harm and limit the impact of the looming winter crisis with them.”
Notes to editor