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.”

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