Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has warned today that sustained pressure on A&E departments across Scotland will have a “scarring” effect, demoralising a whole generation of qualified professionals to the extent that many are likely to leave the service.
The SNP target to see patients within four hours of attending A&E has been breached for more than 6,000 people a week in each of the last five weeks. This number has more than tripled in recent months, increasing from 2,086 in the last week of 2020 to 6,915 in the week beginning 5 September 2021, the most recent week of data.
Commenting, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:
“The unimaginable pressure our health service is under at the moment is scarring a generation of health professionals. Record waiting times are the symptom of a service that’s not well. Staff are struggling, and are fighting against impossible workloads.
“The Health Secretary failed to provide any light at the end of the tunnel with his NHS Recovery plan. It was a bundle of re-packaged announcements, most of which won’t take effect until years down the line.
“While the Health Secretary dances around scrutiny, people are hurting. Granular improvements are not good enough. If resources are not offered up soon, staff will leave and the NHS will be in even more trouble.”