11 Jul 2018
The SNP has been accused of downgrading a key emergency department, despite the A&E ward recording its busiest month in eight years.
In May, the Perth Royal Infirmary received 2405 attendances to its casualty ward, as nationalist ministers were preparing to announce more services were to move to Dundee.
That’s the highest number since May 2010, and an increase of more than 400 from the previous month alone.
In addition, activity at Ninewells Hospital’s A&E also reached a record high in May, despite being set to take on more work from a stripped down PRI.
Its A&E ward had 4608 attendances, the most since these specific ISD Scotland records began in April 2009.
The Scottish Conservatives have said the SNP’s decision to centralise more services at Ninewells has come at the worst possible time for both hospitals.
Earlier this week, the party revealed that bed numbers at the PRI had been gradually reduced over the years, evidence that the Scottish Government had been “chipping away” at the hospital.
That followed an announcement last week by new health secretary Jeane Freeman that all emergency surgery would be moved from the PRI to Dundee.
Scottish Conservative Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith said:
“The SNP is downgrading the PRI at a time when it’s hardly been busier.
“The fact May was the busiest month in eight years proves how valuable a facility it is.
“This is exactly why so many people in the local community are so angry about SNP plans to centralise services at Ninewells.
“They see this as a completely unacceptable move and one which will not be tolerated by staff or patients.
“The PRI has already lost maternity and paediatric services as well as emergency surgery.
“The latest downgrading is a step too far.”
Scottish Conservative North East MSP Bill Bowman said:
“These figures show May was the busiest month for Ninewells’ A&E ward for basically a decade.
“So that proves this is not the time for the SNP to be burdening it with even more work.
“By downgrading services in Perth, the SNP government seems to think Ninewells will be able to effortlessly pick up the slack.
“But as we have now learned, the hospital already has more than enough on its plate, and any increase in activity without proper funding and resources would risk patient safety and load yet more work onto hard-pressed staff.”