Cole-Hamilton calls on SNP to stop work on independence and focus on the A&E crisis

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today called on the SNP/Green government to get on with solving the emergency care crisis and leave its ongoing work on an unwanted independence referendum to one side, after official statistics showed A&E waits continuing to stay stuck at an unprecedentedly low level.

During the week ending 17 April 2022, just 68.1% of attendances at A&E services were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours, while 2,159 patients spent more than 8 hours in an A&E department.

Alex Cole-Hamilton also reiterated his call for an urgent inquiry into avoidable deaths linked to the crisis in emergency care. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine warned recently that there have been 240 deaths since the start of the year as a result of delays at A&E departments.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"Waiting times are out of control and people are dying as a result. It’s time for the SNP/Green Government to really focus on solving this crisis in our A&E departments, not spend ever more time and money on an unwanted independence referendum.

“Staff have been working flat out, they have nothing more to give. This complacent government was already pushing them to their limits pre-pandemic when targets were missed for years on end. The SNP have failed our NHS. This is why the SNP/Green Government were wrong to vote down Scottish Liberal Democrat proposals for an urgent Burnout Prevention Strategy.

“The Health Secretary must also now admit the need for an inquiry into avoidable deaths linked to the crisis in emergency care. People deserve to know why ministers have not fixed this crisis.

“Frontline staff need extra protection, patients need new hope and everyone needs ministers, and a government, who are actually focused on what really matters right now.”

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