Are the record queues at A&E our own fault?

Last month saw Wishaw General Hospital A&E face its highest demand ever
Last month saw Wishaw General Hospital A&E face its highest demand ever

The general hospital serving Clydesdale at Wishaw has come under attack for having the longest A&E waiting lists in its history last month.

While commending its staff, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has attacked the Scottish Government for “failing to act” on his warnings that doctor recruitment and investment was urgently needed at Wishaw and other hospitals.

NHS Lanarkshire has responded by apologising to patients for long waits at A&E but added that part of the problem was some members of the public being too ready to head to the hospital with minor ailments and injuries.

Heather Knox, NHS Lanarkshire director of acute services, said: “Lanarkshire’s A&E services are already among the busiest in Scotland and the three acute Lanarkshire hospitals, including University Hospital Wishaw, continue to experience high demand in their emergency departments, affecting the number of patients admitted or discharged within the four-hour access standard.

“We are sorry that some patients have experienced a longer wait as a result.

“All our staff continue to work extremely hard to ensure that patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible and NHS Lanarkshire continues to provide alternative services so patients can receive care outwith hospitals wherever appropriate.

“I urge everyone to think carefully before attending our A&E services, as a quicker, alternative solution could be the most effective answer, saving time and resources.

“We have been running a campaign this winter urging people living in Lanarkshire to seek the right medical advice to avoid unnecessary visits to A&E units.”