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A&E waits show Health Secretary must 'answer for his job'

September 21, 2021 11:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Responding to the new record waits in A&E departments across the country, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has said that the Health Secretary must now come to parliament "to answer for his job", and offer "seismic" changes.

During the week ending 12 September 2021, only 71.5% of those who attended A&E services were seen and processed within the target of four hours. This is significantly worse than the previous record low of 74.2%.

This amounts to a record 7,798 people waiting over four hours, alongside a record 1,895 waiting more than eight hours and a record 551 waiting more than 12 hours.

Commenting, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"These numbers are horrific. Behind each and every one is a person in pain, and a team of staff struggling to help them. Even in the midst of this crisis, these figures are astonishing.

"Health care professionals cannot simply be conjured out of thin air when the going gets tough. It takes years to put them in place, because they are highly qualified and well trained. This crisis is years in the making.

"The Health Secretary had been warned that emergency care was crumbling, and yet after a month of record breaking waiting times things still aren't improving.

"The pressure in the ambulance service and in A&E departments is deeply intertwined, and so as the Health Secretary comes to parliament today he must answer for his job and offer an apology to patients, families and staff.

"Something seismic needs to be offered to turn this around."