Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

The Scottish Government must do more to support local NHS staff facing an unfolding crisis in Accident and Emergency departments, says South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

The comments come as the latest statistics on waiting times published this week showed that only 64.6% of people at A&E in Lanarkshire were seen within 4 hours in the week ending 10th October.  In NHS Lothian the figure was 72.3%, NHS Borders 70.8%, NHS Ayrshire and Arran 78.7% and NHS Dumfries and Galloway 77.2%.  The legally binding Scottish Government target is 95%, which hasn’t been reached by any health board in South Scotland this year.


Of those attending A&E in Lanarkshire 307 people spent more than 8 hours in A & E and 66 people waited longer than 12 hours. In NHS Lothian the figures were 417 (more than 8 hours) and 196 (more than 12 hours), NHS Borders 158 (more than 8 hours) and 41 (more than 12 hours) NHS Ayrshire and Arran 154 (more than 8 hours) and 92 (more than 12 hours)  and NHS Dumfries and Galloway 32 (more than 8 hours) and 5 (more than 12 hours) .  


Commenting on the figures, Colin Smyth said, “It is becoming clear that our Accident and Emergency departments are increasingly being overwhelmed and we haven’t yet reached the busiest winter period. The Scottish Government has been urged for months now to better support our hard working local NHS staff but so far there is so sign of a plan to deal with this crisis.

“The army have been called in to support three health boards across Scotland and we really are at the point when that is something that needs to be considered for others because the Scottish Government doesn’t seem to have any other strategy”.


“Bringing in the army can only ever can only ever be a short term fix. What we need is a long-term plan”


“The lack of a proper plan is unfair to those waiting in some cases more than 12 hours and to our NHS staff who are working flat out, but there just isn’t enough of them. We simply can’t go on like this as people are having to wait far too long in too many cases”. 

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