29 March 2022
Dr John Thomson, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:
“Each week the Urgent and Emergency Care crisis worsens. Scotland’s Emergency Care system is failing patients who are coming to harm, and failing staff who are overworked, exhausted, and burned out but are left to cover the widespread shortcomings of the health system. Shortages of beds, shortages of staff, the social care crisis; existing staff do all they can to keep patients safe in these exceptionally challenging circumstances.
“It is an untenable and unsustainable situation. This week saw the highest number of long waits on record yet again. Data show that there is one excess death for every 82 patients delayed for more than six hours. This week 2,615 patients were delayed by eight hours or more, from this we can estimate that over 30 patients in this week alone could have come to associated harm or death as a result of their delay to admission.
“The significance of this appalling harm must not go unnoticed and must be met immediately with effective and meaningful action. The Scottish Government must understand the severity and extent of harm befalling our patients, and see that existing staff facing moral injury, going above and beyond, running on goodwill and adrenaline is not reasonable or acceptable. This can no longer be the sole answer to the biggest patient safety crisis in Emergency Care for a generation. This must not continue.”