Longer waiting times and fewer nurses ‘a disgrace’, says MSP

Increased waiting times at A&E units and fewer nurses have been highlighted by MSP Jackie Baillie.

The Labour MSP for the Dumbarton constituency has attacked Health Secretary Alex Neil on both issues in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Highland areas.

The latest statistics published by NHS Scotland show that more than 4000 patients had to wait longer than four hours in emergency departments in Greater Glasgow and Clyde in March 2014.

And Jackie said only 89.6% of people attending A&E were seen within four hours despite the SNP setting a target of 98%.

“The SNP have failed to meet its own targets every month in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde since the summer of 2009,” she said.

“This is nothing short of a disgrace and Alex Neil needs to own up to this mess and come up with a plan to reduce waiting times.

The long-serving MSP has also highlighted statistics which show there are still fewer nurses in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Highland than four years ago.

The NHS Scotland figures show there are now 17,020 nurses and midwives in NHS GGC compared to 17,224 in 2010.

In NHS Highland there are only 3,604 nurses and midwives in March 2014, compared to 3,883 in September 2010.

The figures also reveal a growing reliance on part-time and temporary staff with 161 more bank and agency nurses and midwifes across both health boards since 2010.

“We still have fewer nurses in our NHS than we did in 2010. That means that our nursing and midwifery staff will be working even harder to help provide care to patients,” said Jackie.

“The figures also show an increase in the use of ‘bank’ nurses and agency staff. They raise questions about whether we have the right staff in the right places.

“Flexibility in health staffing is good, but such dramatic increases in the use of temporary staff would indicate that we simply don’t have the number of full-time nurses and midwives that we need.”


  1. In a rare moment of clarity, Johann Lamont admitted In an interview with the Northern Echo, that “Scotland has a fixed budget. Our choice is about how we spend it………. Scotland will not be getting any more money.” Jackie Baillie’s political party, along with the others at Westminster, is committed to making £20 billion of expenditure cuts in the period after the 2015 general election. That will have a massive knock-on effect down through public services in Scotland, including the NHS. One thing is certain. The words ‘Westminster cuts’ whichever political party is in power there, will never be uttered by Jackie Baillie, who will continue to refer to ‘SNP cuts’ and continue to call for the resignation of whoever is in charge of health within the Scottish government. If you didn’t know already, Jackie, the NHS is being dismantled south of the border, and if we stay in the UK, NHS Scotland will follow soon after for lack of resources.

  2. So we should just shrug our shoulders and ignore the fact that there are fewer nurses, more bank staff and more than 10% of people in A&E wait more than four hours? Great plan, things will really get better that way.

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