The worst ever performance figures have once again been recorded by hospital emergency departments and the ambulance service in Wales.
Figures for October show fewer than 65% of patients spent less than four hours in departments like A&E.
The ambulance service responded to just half of immediately life-threatening calls within eight minutes.
The director of the Welsh NHS confederation said the service is facing “unsustainable pressures”.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-59332890
The response from the health boards – too many patients coming.
The response from the Health Secretary – she wasn’t asked. The boards are responsible.
The accusations from Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives – none. They rarely politicise health matters.
It’s the same with BBC England and N Ireland.
But in Scotland for a very similar though less bad situation last month?
Opposition parties have called the figures “terrifying” and an “unmitigated disaster”.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The problem we have is the health service is very, very over-burdened by the current demand of the combination of the pandemic and our desire to deal with the backlog of treatment that is necessary within the community.
“Our hospitals are very congested and one of the ways we can try to tackle that is by trying to ensure that people who don’t need to be in hospital can be properly supported in other care settings and ideally at home.
“The health secretary announced just last week a whole series of measures to strengthen the capacity of the social care sector who do a phenomenal amount of good work to try to support us in that endeavour.
“It will take a while for those measures to have an effect but we are working very hard with local authority partners to enable us to deliver that stronger performance for patients in A&E.”
Last week Health Secretary Humza Yousaf warned that Scotland’s NHS faced an “incredibly difficult winter” despite announcing a £300m funding boost.
But opposition parties have now accused him of “overseeing a scandalous situation” and leaving A&E departments “beyond breaking point”.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “These figures are nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for Humza Yousaf.
“He has completely failed to resource our A&E departments that are beyond breaking point.
“Humza Yousaf is overseeing a scandalous situation in our NHS. Thousands of patients are not being seen within the SNP’s own target waiting times. His inaction is putting heroic staff under immense pressure before we even hit the peak winter period.”
Dr Gulhane added: “The support being offered by our UK armed forces is incredibly welcome, but the health secretary has still not outlined a plan to maximise their use.
“Humza Yousaf must finally show some leadership and get on top of this A&E crisis, which is now completely out of control.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “These numbers are terrifying for staff and patients alike.
“The NHS has always been a safety net for anyone who needs it but, after years of poor workforce management, that net has huge holes in it. Undoubtedly, people will be slipping through.
“The health service isn’t just struggling, it is being crippled by government mismanagement.
“There simply aren’t enough nurses available to prop hospitals up. There are thousands of vacancies, and the health secretary proposes recruiting just 200 from overseas.
“Those working through this are swamped, and have little reason to trust that this government will make things better.”
Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman, Jackie Baillie, said Scotland was “on track for another winter catastrophe this year if we fail to act”.
She added: “The SNP need to listen to the warnings from staff on the front line and get a grip on the growing emergency in our NHS before the cold weather really bites.
“There is no time to waste when this many lives are on the line.”
A Scottish government spokeswoman said the coronavirus pandemic “has inevitably affected A&E attendance” and stressed that an additional £27m had been allocated to redesign urgent care in the health service.
“Our NHS staff have faced unprecedented pressures over recent weeks as they work tirelessly and consistently to respond to the pandemic whilst continuing to provide vital treatment and optimal patient care,” she said.
“To minimise pressures as much as possible this winter, we’ve recently announced £300m of measures to help increase NHS and social care capacity in our hospitals and reduce delayed discharges.
“In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with those sites facing the greatest challenges to ensure rapid recovery plans are in place and are in contact daily.”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-58887585
Essentially the same information for the public is turned into a platform where all of the opposition can attack the SNP Government, unconstrained by any recognition that the trusts are responsible or that NHS Scotland is significantly faster in this area.
On this see:
On the differences with Wales, see: