Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today urged the SNP/Green government to set aside its ongoing work on an independence referendum in favour of solving the emergency care crisis, after official statistics showed A&E waits at the worst level on record.
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 set aside its ongoing work on an independence referendum and get to grips with what really matters right now.
“Staff have been working flat out and warned repeatedly they have nothing more to give. They have been failed by a complacent government which was already pushing them to their limits pre-pandemic when targets were missed for years on end. It’s 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.
“Staff on the frontline need extra protection, patients need new hope and everyone needs ministers who are actually focused on what really matters right now.”