A&E units ‘simply unable to cope’ says Baillie

Hospital A&E departments are struggling to cope, MSP Jackie Baillie has said following the publication of a damning report from Audit Scotland.

The Scottish Government originally set a target for 98% of patients attending A&E to be treated within four hours.

However this was revised down to 95% last year after the SNP admitted that it was failing to meet the target in hospitals across Scotland.

The Audit Scotland report revealed that the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley had failed to meet even this new lower target in every month for the figures available.

Waiting times have actually increased at the hospital over the past year and a half, with only 88.3% of patients being seen within four hours in December 2013 compared to 91.5% the previousyear.

Ms Baillie, the Labour MSP for the Dumbarton constituency, said the figures prove the SNP needs to announce a full-scale review of how health and social care services will cope in the years to come.

“This report shows that our hospitals are simply unable to cope with the growing pressures they face, when combined with the cuts to staffing and beds which have been imposed by the SNP,” she said.

“The fact that the RAH was among the hospitals with the worst ratings in Scotland for waiting times at the end of last year is further proof that we need a full A&E facility north of the river.

“I have been campaigning on this for over a decade and I hope that the Scottish Government and the health board will finally listen to our demands when the consultation is published in the autumn.”