6,000 patients wait more than four hours at Wishaw A&E

The Accident and Emergency Department at Wishaw General
The Accident and Emergency Department at Wishaw General

More than 6,000 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment at Wishaw General’s A&E department last year.

This meant that nearly 10 per cent of cases were not dealt with within the Scottish Government’s waiting time target.

A total of 6,255 patients were not admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, which included 659 who had to wait over eight hours and 118 who had to wait more than 12 hours.

Central Scotland list MSP Richard Leonard believes this proves the NHS needs better direction from Holyrood.

He said: “Staff are what makes our NHS the most valued public service, we all rely on their dedication and commitment — and they rely on the Scottish Government to show them the same in return.

“We have seen a decade of mismanagement of our NHS which has enabled a workforce crisis to develop across the NHS from primary care to specialist consultants.

“That’s what happens when the plan for the NHS is built around short term crisis management rather than for the long term.”

The Scottish Government has set a target of 95 percent of patients who present themselves at A&E should be seen within four hours.

Across NHS Lanarkshire this happened for 92.7 per cent of patients and at Wishaw the figure was just 90.52 per cent.

Despite this the overall picture is improving with NHS Lanarkshire missing the target by eight per cent in 2015 and 12 per cent in 2014.

The health board says it continues to try to improve the figures, but urged patients to consider whether they actually need to visit A&E.

Wishaw General’s director of hospital services Marion Mark said: “We saw an improvement in our unscheduled care performance last year compared to 2015.

“Our clinical and managerial staff will continue to work together to enhance our performance and to reduce waiting times for our patients.

“The public can help us a great deal by ensuring they go to the most appropriate healthcare professional.

“There is a wide range of services available in the community that can provide treatment for many illnesses and injuries without the need to visit the emergency department.”

Last April the number of A&E patients being treated at Wishaw A&E within four hours did top the Scottish average for the only time in 2016

It provided Motherwell and Wishaw MSP Clare Adamson with hope that with continued investment the situation will continue to improve.

She said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our healthcare teams across NHS Lanarkshire who are striving to meet Scottish Government targets.

“While we will never be complacent about the performance of our health service, particularly during these difficult winter months, these figures are an improvement on last year’s performance.

“The NHS is seeing record levels of investment, with the budget increasing £500m above inflation during this Parliament.

“That’s why A&E performance in Scotland is 10 per cent higher than elsewhere in the UK during the busy winter period.

“With the percentage of people seen within four hours at Wishaw even higher than the Scottish average on occasion this shows our support is proving effective.

“I would also urge patients to remember there are a number of other services available, such as GP surgeries and pharmacies, where they can seek medical advice.”

A&E staff at Wishaw General have produced a video called ‘Know Who To Turn To’ which can be viewed on YouTube and Vimeo.