Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
MSP slams Health Secretary’s response
The crisis engulfing NHS Lanarkshire took centre stage at Holyrood last week.
Patients at Wishaw General were diverted to nearby Monklands Hospital earlier this month as the A&E department struggled to cope, due to increased demand and bed shortages.
An urgent question was raised in the Scottish Parliament by Central Scotland list MSP Meghan Gallacher, of the Conservatives, who asked Health Secretary Humza Yousaf what support was being provided to NHS Lanarkshire.
Mr Yousaf responded by stating: “We recognise that some people are not getting the service or care that they or, indeed, we would expect. I regret that and I apologise to anybody who has suffered as a result of it.
“As members will know, we have invested in an additional £300 million winter package of measures to support health and care services.
“Over and above that, in order to maximise capacity, we have also invested £10m in specialist programmes that aim to provide alternatives to admission and ensure that our processes are right, to ensure timely discharge.
“On top of that, the member is probably aware that NHS Lanarkshire has been assigned 64 military medics to support the three acute sites.
“The period of their task has recently been extended from November 11 until December 17 – something that I and the board welcomed.
“My senior officials and I have been meeting the executive team at NHS Lanarkshire regularly to agree immediate actions that will support improvements and minimise delays for patients.”
Following the conclusion of the debate at Holyrood, Ms Gallacher denounced Mr Yousaf ’s answers to her questions as not being good enough.
“This disgraceful situation shows how much of a crisis NHS Lanarkshire is in,” said Ms Gallacher. “staff are beyond breaking point and it is having a devastating impact on patients.
“Humza Yousaf ’s responses to my urgent questions simply weren’t good enough or reassuring for my constituents.
“He has failed to get a grip of this situation in NHS Lanarkshire for too long, despite the incredible efforts of frontline staff and the support being given from our UK Armed Forces.
“He was shamefully dismissive to myself and colleagues instead of outlining a clear plan to support NHS Lanarkshire.
“Services locally are in serious trouble on Humza Yousaf’s watch and he must get a grip now before winter really begins to bite.”