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by Tom Freeman
11 February 2015
NHS chief apologises for A&E performance

NHS chief apologises for A&E performance

NHS Scotland chief executive Paul Gray has apologised to patients after sending a support team in to relieve pressure at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

The hospital has struggled over the winter to cope with admissions, with one patient waiting 20 hours for a bed in January. 2,400 people across the health board area waiting more than four hours for treatment last month.

“This has been a challenging winter for A&E departments across Scotland," he said. "I want to apologise to patients who have waited longer than they should to be seen and treated.

“I recognise that all staff have been working extremely hard in our NHS to ensure patients get the best possible care. However, I’m concerned that performance is not recovering as quickly as it should at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and it is clear to me, through our performance monitoring and management, that the board needs support to help them ensure patients are seen and treated in A&E within the appropriate timescale."

Unscheduled care managers from the Scottish Government will be working with the hospital to identify immediate measures to improve the situation.

Robert Calderwood, chief executive of NHSGGC Health Board, said staff remained committed. “There has been a lot of learning across Scotland in recent months about various different approaches to improving efficiency of patient flows in A&E’s and I am hopeful that some of that learning may prove to be appropriate for the RAH to help our teams on the ground deliver improved performance in the weeks and months ahead,” he said.

Scottish Labour have called for the NHS to be more transparent about waiting times and the pressures on A&E. Health spokeswoman Jenny Marra said the move "confirmed what Labour have been saying for weeks".

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