Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Staff reporter
04 January 2023
Pressure mounts on Scottish Government to deal with NHS crisis

Pressure mounts on Scottish Government to deal with NHS crisis

The Scottish Conservatives are piling pressure on the Scottish Government to recall parliament this week to allow MSPs to debate “the escalating crisis in Scotland’s NHS”.

Earlier in the week Tory health spokesperson Sandesh Gulhane noted that BMA Scotland chairman Dr Iain Kennedy had called the health service “broken” after medics at Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board asked for a major incident to be declared so special measures could be put in place to keep the service running.

Gulhane, who is also a doctor, said the NHS is “in midst of an unprecedented crisis – by far the worst in my clinical career”.

The deputy leader of the Scottish Tories, Meghan Gallagher, said she “fully backs” Gulhane, noting that “the system cannot continue to hang by a thread, especially in areas such as Lanarkshire”.

Posting on Twitter, Galllagher, gave details of taking a family member to A&E this week and said the Scottish Government “needs to provide an emergency response detailing how they intend to get our NHS back on track” adding that “we can’t wait another few weeks to have this debate - it needs to happen now”.

“I witnessed first hand the strain our NHS is under when attending A&E with a family member,” she wrote.

“Over an hour waiting on the phone to NHS24 before being advised to attend A&E. Total call length was 1 hour 42 mins.

“When we arrived at Monklands [Hospital], A&E was rammed, with make shift seats directly outside toilets. We were told that it would be a considerable wait to be seen due to the volume of patients and lack of beds.

“We were fortunate as we were in and out within 5 hours but others had a lengthier wait. My heartfelt thanks go to all NHS staff who were able to assist my family member, especially in such difficult circumstances.

“NHS Lanarkshire has been in code black for roughly 350 days now. It’s clear that it’s unsafe for NHS staff and patients having to deal with this day in, day out.”

It comes after the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) and the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) this week issued a joint statement saying they have “never been more concerned about standards of acute medical care across hospitals in the UK than we are now”.

RCPE president Prof Andrew Elder, SAM president Dr Tim Cooksley and SAM Scotland representative Dr Dan Beckett said that the situation is more difficult now than at any time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“With patients waiting many, many hours to be assessed and treated, sometimes in ambulances queueing outside our hospitals, the maxim that our patients should receive ‘the right care, in the right place, at the right time’ has never been further away from the reality of what is actually being provided,” they wrote.

“This is an issue central to patient safety and quality of care – the core values the RCPE and SAM represent and that all in the NHS seek to safeguard. If the current situation is not a crisis in acute care we ask our governments to define what they believe a crisis to be.

“Our fellows and members work in acute hospitals across the UK and fully concur with the statements already made by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine regarding the seriousness of the current situation.

“We thank all healthcare staff in the NHS for their incredible work in recent weeks and in the weeks to come and offer both of our organisations full support to all governments of the United Kingdom to discuss urgently what steps can be taken to improve matters for our patients.”

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Staff reporter - Police submit Operation Branchform report to Crown after Peter Murrell charged.



Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top