16 Oct 2012
Dozens of patients have been forced to languish for more than 24 hours in Scotland’s A&E wards over the past four years.
Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed that 52 people waited to be seen for more than a full day and night before being properly admitted to a ward or discharged.
In addition to that figure, a further 65 have been delayed by more than 18 hours, despite the target being in place to see patients within four hours.
And although the figure is only a fraction of the total number of those admitted to Scotland’s casualty wards, it points to severe staffing and resource issues within hospitals.
The statistics show in 2011/12 there were 12 people forced to wait longer than 24 hours for care, two more than the previous year.
Since 2008/09, the Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary and Western General, as well as the Sick Kids in Glasgow, have all had more than one patient delayed for 24 hours of more.
And last year, Borders General hospital had four people waiting longer than that timeframe.
Earlier this year, it emerged the number of patients waiting longer than 12 hours across Scotland’s hospitals was on the rise.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said:
“The SNP has severely cut the number of nurses in Scotland in recent years.
“Despite this, it has claimed all the while that frontline care would not be affected.
“That clearly won’t have been the experience of the 50 plus people, and their families, who have had to wait a disgraceful 24 hours for care.
“It also isn’t the experience of the growing number of people having to wait longer than they should for appointments, or are part of the shameful delayed discharge figures plaguing Scotland’s wards.
“The SNP cannot continue to pretend everything is going well in our hospitals.
“All manner of statistics point to the contrary, and when matched with the experience of patients, it indicates an altogether depressing picture.
“With its health budget protected, the Scottish Government has to explain why standards are continuing to slide.”