Sir, Reading in your news item on A&E waiting times (Arran Banner, September 2) that some patients in Ayrshire and Arran were waiting eight hours ‘before being seen’, I felt instinctively that this could not be true.
A 90-second Google search proved me correct. A check on the NHS Information Services Division website, where this kind of data is routinely made available, shows that there has been an increase in the last month (of less than one per day) in the number of patients in Ayrshire A&E de- partments waiting over eight hours ‘to be treated, admitted or discharged’.
During this time they will have been identified, triaged, assessed, investigated, and received necessary treatment, a process involving numerous staff with diverse skills.
Labour MSP Colin Smyth’s distortion of the facts is both mendacious and incompetent, presumably intended to undermine public confidence in the Scottish Government’s stewardship of the NHS.
I’m confident that for patients ill enough to spend eight hours being assessed and treated in A&E, the time NHS staff are spending on them will be the least of their concerns.
Instead, they will very probably reflect at some point on how lucky they are to live in a country where emergency treatment is available to all on a basis of need, is free at the point of use, and where the government is so strongly committed to these central NHS principles.
Yours, Dr Malcolm Kerr Brodick