4 April 2023
Responding to the latest Emergency Department performance figures for Scotland for February 2023 Dr John-Paul Loughrey, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:
“As the data show, the start of this year has continued to be difficult in Emergency Care. Patients continue to face long and dangerous waits as staff continue to be stretched to their limit. Ambulance queues, poor patient flow throughout our hospitals, exit block – where patients are stuck in the system in a ‘traffic jam’ – these remain prevalent across Emergency Departments in Scotland.
“We congratulate the First Minister for Scotland, Humza Yousaf MSP, on his appointment to his new role, and we welcome Michael Matheson MSP to the role of Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care. We hope to continue and increase our engagement with the Scottish Government to improve patient care and staff conditions in Emergency Medicine and the wider health service.
“We urge the new Cabinet Secretary to build on the constructive engagement of his predecessor and increase focus on investing in adequate and sufficient social care to discharge patients in a timely way to free up beds. Alongside this, we ask him to prioritise expanding acute bed capacity across Scotland and retaining existing staff. These are the short-term priorities for Emergency Care. It would be wrong to take measures to manage demand and reduce attendances on the front door – such measures do nothing to tackle the root causes of long-term problems.
“In the long-term, we urge the new Cabinet Secretary to look at workforce planning and sustained and continued funding and investment in health and social care to ensure we do not reach the troughs of performance and patient care that we saw in 2022.
“We must reduce and eliminate dangerous and unacceptable delays to patient care that we know are associated with patient harm and patient deaths. We would welcome an opportunity to meet with the new Cabinet Secretary to discuss our Five Priorities for UK Governments for #ResuscitatingEmergencyCare.”
Notes to editor