Medicine

Blackpool hospital worst in country at treating patients within four hours

Blackpool hospital worst in country at treating patients within four hours

"We need a moratorium before the next crisis, so will the First Minister promise to stop cutting hospital beds until patients have somewhere to go?"

Other issues raised in the letter, first reported in the Health Service Journal, include patients waiting up to 12 hours for a bed after doctors had made a decision to admit them, with queues of 50 patients waiting in one emergency department.

The statistics were published shortly after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon faced questions from opposition leaders over the health service's ability to cope with the pressures on it.

It comes as official figures released show the NHS ended the year with the same A&E waiting time performance level in December - 85.1% - as at the start of the year, equalling January's record low and the worst result since the target was introduced in 2004.

Around 5,600 patients waited beyond the targeted four-hour period to be admitted, transferred or discharged after reporting to the hospitals between Christmas Day and Hogmanay.

Elective and non-urgent operations were cancelled last week at three hospitals and one health board, NHS Lanarkshire, had to ask office staff to volunteer to clean dirty wards in a bid to free up beds.

A spokesman for the Vic said the severity of cases seen last month meant people were spending longer on the ward, while the success of efforts to get patients with more minor conditions to seek treatment elsewhere - such as walk-in centres - meant a greater proportion of those seen at the hospital needed more intensive treatment, causing delays for other patients.

The First Minister insisted NHS Scotland is outperforming its counterparts in England and Wales in a number of areas.

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Ms Davidson added: "As it stands, the SNP has cut bed numbers, and cut social care places".

They included 18-year-old midwifery student Bethany Walker, from Applecross in Wester Ross, who died in hospital last week after her flu virus developed into pneumonia.

"And it is about time that the opposition recognised the achievements of those working so hard on the frontline of our National Health Service".

"His son called 999 seven times - only to be told that an ambulance was coming, not from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary which was just 14 minutes away, but from Kelso".

He said Mr Wilson later spent 13 hours on a trolley in the accident and emergency unit.

Mr Leonard said: "That is an 80 year old man with underlying health conditions waiting more than 16 hours for treatment". "Despite the best efforts and dedication of NHS staff to treat patients quickly, waiting times for non-urgent care have also deteriorated again in the past year".

It comes as new figures revealed the number of flu cases in Scotland had more than doubled over the past week, leaving them four times higher than the same time previous year.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said Sturgeon had been "found out" on her stewardship of the NHS.


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