Patient waits nearly day for hospital bed

Wishaw General Hospital
Wishaw General Hospital

NHS Lanarkshire faces criticism after a patient was forced to wait almost an entire day in accident and emergency at Wishaw General.

The hospital performed worst in a survey of Scottish A&E units.

It revealed one patient at Wishaw waited 22 hours and 13 minutes for a bed last October while another two patients waited more than 21 hours and almost 21 hours respectively.

The health authority insisted patients forced to wait so long do get a bed elsewhere and access to meals and a toilet.

However, Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland is not convinced.

He said Wishaw has achieved the target of treating 95 per cent of cases within four hours only three times since weekly A&E reports began almost a year ago.

Mr Pentland added: “The number of Wishaw’s patients waiting more than eight and more than 12 hours for A&E treatment has been a frequent cause for concern. This latest information shows those longer waits are often well in excess of the 12 hours that the published statistics record.

“The last 46 weeks have seen 915 Wishaw patients wait more than eight hours and 183 wait more than 12. It’s also clear that many of the longest waits involved elderly patients.”

The MSP clashed last year with NHS Lanarkshire officials over community nursing vacancies, with the authority accusing him of using old figures to paint a grim picture.

Mr Pentland said: “The waits are indicative of the stress and pressure that frontline staff will be under, trying to cope under difficult circumstances.

“Despite assurances that things are getting better, problems remain. We have significant issues that need to be addressed and we won’t do that by pretending things are OK when they are not.”

Gillian Corbett, chief of nursing services at Wishaw General, didn’t challenge the latest waiting time figures, released under Freedom of Information.

She said: “The majority of patients are seen within four hours. However, due to an increase in the number of patients requiring to be admitted to the hospital, some patients have experienced a lengthy wait for a bed.

“When this occurs care is provided in a bed, within an appropriate clinical area, with access to toilet facilities and meals. Clinical staff also carry out tests and begin treatment while the patient waits to be admitted to a ward.”