Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Nicola Sturgeon 'unreservedly' apologises for NHS delays

Chard & Ilminster News Nicola Sturgeon 'unreservedly' apologises for NHS delays
Patty Aguilar | 12 January, 2018, 20:59

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon and health secretary Shona Robison have apologised to patients for the problems caused by massive winter pressures on the country's health system.

Just 81 per cent were admitted, transferred or discharged in the run up to December 17 - 14 points below target - and office workers were drafted in to help clean wards while GP surgeries opened on Saturdays to tackle backlogs.

In an interview for STV's Scotland Tonight programme, Sturgeon rejected suggestions the NHS was in a poor position.

An NHS Highland spokesman said: "The increase in the number of attendances at A&E is something we would expect to see at this time of year due to standard winter pressures".

As latest figures showed Scots flu victims has more than doubled from the same time a year ago and Ms Sturgeon said jab uptake had increased slightly, critics claimed Nats should have pushed vaccinations more.

"We had a particularly icy period of weather going into Christmas, these all have implications".

The First Minister later met call handlers at the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS 24 control centre in Cardonald, Glasgow, praising their "tremendous" work at a hard time.

But the Scottish Conservatives said the figures were "nothing short of a disgrace" and the Liberal Democrats said they should "shatter the SNP government's complacency".

Scotland's emergency units recorded their worst waiting time performance since records began in the build up to Christmas, with one in five patients waiting longer than four hours to be seen.

Scottish Labour's shadow health secretary Anas Sarwar said: "Our hard-working NHS staff always deserve praise for the work they do, but they deserve more than praise, they need to be properly resourced to do their jobs".

However, Holyrood's opposition parties said the apologies were "not good enough", accusing Nicola Sturgeon and Ms Robison of trying to make up for a lack of action on the NHS with "warm words".

"This winter crisis did not come from unforeseen circumstances". Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

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