PATIENTS at Hairmyres Hospital were recently forced to wait more than 12 HOURS in A&E, a serious breach of standards set by the government.
Now MSP Margaret McCulloch has called on health minister Nicola Sturgeon to act on the serious breach of waiting times standards.
Figures revealed at NHS Lanarkshire’s board meeting show 35 emergency arrivals waited for over 12 hours in the month of May, falling well short of the Scottish Government’s maximum waiting time standard of four hours.
The target is the maximum length of time from arrival at Accident and Emergency to admission, discharge or transfer should be four hours for 98 per cent of patients.
NHS Lanarkshire’s performance varied during the first few months of this year between 93 per cent and 96 per cent.
Central list Labour MSP Ms McCulloch said: “To have so many patients waiting for so long at an Accident and Emergency unit is simply unacceptable. There is a four-hour national waiting time standard for A&E in Scotland, which has been seriously and repeatedly breached at Hairmyres Hospital.
“NHS Lanarkshire accepts that there are particular issues at Hairmyres, which they are trying to address, but the buck stops with the health secretary and she has to make sure that her government is giving leadership and getting to the bottom of this problem.
“During May, there were 35 patients who experienced waits of over 12 hours. All of these patients were nursed on beds and resources were put in place to ensure they were afforded appropriate levels of clinical supervision, comfort and support.
“The wait for a bed is the primary issue. Other issues raised at the board meeting included the ‘considerable pressure’ being faced for treatment of outpatients and day cases within the government’s 18-week waiting time rules.
As a result, NHS Lanarkshire are taking forward plans to establish an outpatient ‘hub’ at Hairmyres to increase efficiency and productivity.
Alan Lawrie, interim director of acute services with NHS Lanarkshire, told the News this week: “There are increasing pressures on A&E departments across Scotland and we have undertaken significant work to address these issues within Lanarkshire.
“We have recently completed a substantial recruitment programme and have invested £2.4m over the last 18 months to increase consultant numbers within emergency medicine across Lanarkshire. There are now 10.8 consultants in post at Hairmyres Hospital. We have also added two-and-a-half whole-time equivalent nurses to each of the three A&E departments.
“However, there are times where the hospital will experience high levels of activity, as Hairmyres did in May. As a result some patients experienced longer waits for treatment than would normally be the case.”