Colin Smyth MSP
South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed the scale of the crisis facing local accident and emergency units, as new figures show that thousands of people across South Scotland have waited more than 12 hours to be seen in local Accident and Emergency (A&E) units.
The most recent Scottish Government statistics published this month have shown that, in the year from November 2021 to October 2022, a shocking 2,925 people in NHS Borders spent more than 12 hours in A&E waiting to be seen – despite an SNP Green government commitment to see 95% of patients within four hours. This was an eye watering rise of 5,123% on the 56 people in the year to October 2019 that had to wait over 12 hours.
In NHS Dumfries and Galloway the rise from 2019 to 2022 was 812%- up from 43 to 392, in NHS Ayrshire and Arran the increase was 416%- up from 1,557 to 8,038, in NHS Lanarkshire 6,267 people waited more than 12 hours in the year to October 2022 compared to 851 in the year to October 2019 – an increase of 636% and in NHS Lothian a 1,651% rise saw 15,936 people wait more than 12 hours in 2022- with a comparable figure of 910 in 2019.
This figure has spiralled in recent years, with the number of people waiting more than 12 hours now significantly higher than the same period in 2018/19 in every health board in South Scotland- in the case of NHS Borders 52 times higher.
With A&E services in disarray and the situation only worsening throughout the winter, Colin Smyth has warned that lives are at risk due to the A&E crisis.
Colin Smyth said, “The facts are plain for all to see. Accident and Emergency services locally have been plunged into a deadly freefall by the Scottish Government’s dangerous negligence.
“Despite the efforts of hardworking staff, the number of patients spending a shocking 12 hours waiting in A&E has soared this year. You just have to speak to anyone working flat out on A&E and they are exhausted yet the Scottish Government isn’t given them the resources they need.
“The SNP Green Government’s mismanagement of our NHS is putting lives at risk – we urgently need a real plan to put a stop to this chaos and protect services in our local hospitals”.