Bot­tom of the ta­ble

La­nark­shire lags in list

Rutherglen Reformer - - Schools - Dou­glas Dickie

The health board that took over the run­ning of ser­vices in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang this year is bot­tom of the ta­ble for wait­ing time in Scot­land.

One in 10 pa­tients and A&E ser­vices in NHS La­nark­shire hos­pi­tals can ex­pect to wait more than four hours to be seen by a doc­tor.

Fig­ures show that be­tween March and June this year, only 89.5 per cent of pa­tients would be seen and ad­mit­ted, trans­ferred or dis­charged within the time­frame.

Dur­ing May, the fig­ure was as low as 87.5 per cent.

NHS La­nark­shire was one of 12 Scot­tish health boards who failed to meet the 98 per cent tar­get for those months.

Ruther­glen MSP, James Kelly, said pa­tients were be­ing failed on wait­ing times. He said: “Pa­tients across La­nark­shire are be­ing let down by missed tar­gets. We know how im­por­tant it is that A&E de­part­ments can re­spond as soon as pos­si­ble, but th­ese statis­tics show that this is not hap­pen­ing.

“But the blame can­not be placed squarely at the door of NHS La­nark­shire – health boards across the coun­try are fail­ing to meet th­ese tar­gets. It sim­ply isn’t good enough. Our NHS de­serves bet­ter than this.

“That is why Scot­tish Labour be­lieves it is time for a fun­da­men­tal re­view of our NHS, that will make sure our re­sources are be­ing put in the places where they can not only pro­tect, but to strengthen our NHS for decades to come.”

An NHS La­nark­shire spokesper­son said: “Our pri­or­ity is al­ways to en­sure the safety of our pa­tients and to pro­vide ef­fec­tive care and treat­ment based on clin­i­cal pri­or­ity. Our staff work hard to avoid de­lays and we re­gret any oc­ca­sion where this oc­curs.

“All three emer­gency de­part­ments within La­nark­shire have ex­pe­ri­enced pres­sures. Clin­i­cal staff and man­agers have been work­ing to­gether at board and site level to re­duce wait­ing times and we have de­vel­oped a range of ac­tions to im­prove A&E wait­ing times per­for­mance.

“If it looks like a pa­tient will ex­pe­ri­ence a lengthy wait for a hos­pi­tal bed, then care will be pro­vided in beds in ap­pro­pri­ate clin­i­cal ar­eas with ac­cess to toi­let fa­cil­i­ties and full hos­pi­tal care in­clud­ing meals.”

New health min­is­ter, Shona Robison, con­ceded more had to be done to bring down wait­ing times, she de­fended the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s record on the NHS: “Like A&E de­part­ments right across the UK, Scot­land’s NHS is fac­ing the chal­lenge of treat­ing more peo­ple with more com­plex health is­sues, how­ever we are con­tin­u­ing to work to support health boards to meet the 95 per cent stan­dard as quickly as pos­si­ble.

“I am clear that no pa­tient should wait un­nec­es­sar­ily for treat­ment and, as the new Health Sec­re­tary, one of my key pri­or­i­ties will be to fo­cus on im­prov­ing the flow through hos­pi­tals. This will not only re­duce the num­ber of pa­tients wait­ing to be dis­charged, but also help to re­duce pres­sure on our front­line ser­vices like A&E and planned op­er­a­tions.”

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