South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has accused the SNP Health Secretary, Jeanne Freeman, of being complacent over A&E waiting times in Ayrshire and Arran.
The claim comes as figures published by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that 776 patients this year had had to wait longer than 12 hours to be seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged at NHS Ayrshire and Arran A&E departments.
The national standard for A&E waiting times is that a patient attending A&E should be seen, transferred or discharged within four hours. However, this target has been broken 7,168 times in Ayrshire and Arran.
The latest figures come as Colin Smyth MSP received a response from the SNP Health Secretary, Jeanne Freeman, which he described as evidence that the Scottish Government are complacent over A&E waiting times.
Colin Smyth said, “Across Ayrshire and Arran patients are being left over 12 hours in Accident and Emergency waiting rooms and hospital beds despite supposedly legally binding targets being set to ensure any patient attending A&E must be seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours. With 776 patients waiting over 12 hours in NHS Ayrshire and Arran A&E departments alone this situation is nothing short of a scandal.
It is even more disappointing that the Health Secretary and this SNP Scottish Government are so complacent. In response to concerns I raised with the Jeanne Freeman over long waiting times she simply dismissed the problem by saying that A&E waiting times in Scotland are the best in the UK. Local people aren’t interested in what happens In England. They care about services in Ayrshire and Arran and so should Jeanne Freeman.
The Scottish Government need to wake up to the crisis in A&E departments and take immediate action. Their complacency must end by investing in our NHS to cope with increasing demand and support our frontline NHS staff who go above and beyond for patient care.”