MSP describes A&E wait times as a ‘source of shame’

BORDERS MSP Rachael Hamilton says the latest A&E waiting figures should be a source of shame for Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and says he is letting down under-resourced hardworking NHS staff.

Ms Hamilton’s appeal comes after just 66.2 per cent of patients were seen within four hours of arriving at A&E in Scotland.

At Borders General Hospital the figure was worse than the Scotland-wide average, where just 63.7 per cent were seen within four hours.

The SNP’s goal is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours.

Ms Hamilton said: ‘These worst A&E waiting times across Scotland are utterly shameful.

“Our heroic NHS Borders staff are continually let down at every turn by Humza Yousaf’s lack of action and strategy.

“They work exceptionally hard, but the fact remains that our health board is under-resourced, and the blame for that lies wholeheartedly with the SNP government.

“He continues to rely on his fragile NHS recovery plan, even in the face of a deepening A&E crisis at the BGH.

“It is full of excuses but devoid of solutions to overcome this crisis which is leading to unnecessary excess deaths in Scotland.

“There is a perpetual crisis in the NHS Borders and more and more patients are suffering due to the inaction of the SNP Health Secretary.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘The latest monthly figures released show Scotland has the best performing A&E in the UK.

“In fact, Scottish A&Es have outperformed those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for over six years.

“The latest weekly figures show that the performance of our A&E services has improved slightly, although we know this could fluctuate in the coming weeks as the unprecedented impact of the pandemic continues to take its toll.

“We are still seeing high levels of Covid transmission and people in our hospitals with the virus, but there are indications that the numbers are stabilizing.

“For many, A&E will not be the right place for their health care needs. People should determine if their condition is an emergency, such as a stroke, heart attack or major trauma, before going to the emergency room.

“Local GPs can be contacted during the day for non-critical care, as well as local pharmacies. If you think you need A&E but it is not an emergency, the NHS 24 telephone service is available on 111.

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