Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has said that the Scottish Government must refocus its efforts on better supporting the NHS as official statistics revealed worrying trends in the NHS Highland region.
The Scottish Conservative MSP spoke out after official figures showed that NHS Highland was struggling to meet the official target for waiting times at A&E and that there has been a significant reduction in the number of acute beds available across the region.
Mr Cameron said: “It is very concerning that 20% of people presenting to A&E in our area are having to wait more than 4 hours for treatment, which is four times more than the official target. In fact things seem to be getting worse rather than better, judging by the latest figures. Moreover we have seen a significant fall in the number of acute beds available which are now 111 fewer than in 2011/12."
“We all appreciate the strain the NHS has been under during the Covid-19 pandemic and that is why it is so concerning that Humza Yousaf, the Health Minister, simply does not inspire confidence. For instance, he has still failed to outline a plan that will maximise the use of our Armed Forces to drive down waiting times. Given the seriousness of the situation, this should surely be a priority."
“Patients needing treatment, and our NHS staff, all deserve far better than this. Nicola Sturgeon needs to put her obsession with independence to one side, refocus, and get on with day job.”
The official statistics are available here:
A&E waiting times 19th September: https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics-week-ending-19-september-2021/
A&E waiting times 12th September: https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics/nhs-performs-weekly-update-of-emergency-department-activity-and-waiting-time-statistics-week-ending-12-september-2021/
Acute bed numbers: https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-annual/acute-hospital-activity-and-nhs-beds-information-annual-annual-year-ending-31-march-2021/