Recent warnings from the local health board about the region’s acute hospitals experiencing high levels of activity are unfortunately becoming the “new normal” according to South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway issued a statement last week saying the region’s two hospitals, DGRI and Galloway Community Hospital, have been experiencing extremely high levels of activity since Easter weekend.

This has meant that some people in Wigtownshire are being taken 70 miles to DGRI in an emergency.

Colin Smyth said: “Unfortunately, as anyone who lives in the region knows, this statement from NHS Dumfries and Galloway is not as shocking as it once would have been.

“Warnings like this have become the new normal but despite them happening so frequently, it doesn’t mean it is not a serious concern.

“Our fantastic NHS staff are doing all they can to cope with the increased pressure but they are completely overwhelmed.

“One of the main problems remains that delayed discharge is a serious issue which impacts all aspects of hospital care, and as a result every month we learn that hundreds of people across the region are waiting too long for treatment.

“Patient and staff wellbeing is at risk and lives are being lost.

“The Scottish Government must end delayed discharge and invest further in primary care to tackle illnesses before they get serious. Health inequalities are widening under the SNP’s watch, and they must tackle these issues head on.”

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