Cole-Hamilton: A&E waiting times “back on the downward slope”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has expressed concern at new statistics which reveal A&E waiting times are “back on the downward slope”, as performance against the 4-hour waiting time target has fallen once again to 92.3%.

The figures published by ISD Scotland show 2186 patients waited over 4 hours. 116 patients waited over 8 hours.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“It’s hugely frustrating to see A&E performance back on the downward slope. If this target isn't being met in the height of summer, what chance is there of being anywhere close to meeting it once the winter comes back around.

“The Health Secretary has been blaming long waits on the Beast from the East but we’re now three months on, so what will she blame this latest downturn on?

“It’s time she took responsibility and eased the strain on our hardworking health professionals, who have nowhere near the support and resources they need.”

Commenting on new figures showing the number of long-term vacant posts has increased 27% in nursing and midwifery and 24% amongst consultants, compared to the same time last year, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"It is no wonder that the majority of nursing staff say they are too busy to provide the level of care they would like.

"Nicola Sturgeon's cuts to training places have come back to bite. There are hundreds of long-term nursing, midwifery and consultant vacancies and the pressure that is being put on the remaining staff is immense."

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