Burnett slams SNP over A&E demand

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Local Conservative candidate Alexander Burnett has rapped the SNP over news that patients were being turned away from ARI.

People were urged to stay away from the casualty department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary last week owing to the pressure of an influx of A&E patients.

Mr Burnett, candidate for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, reacted to the news that patients were being redirected from the hospital and that procedures were being postponed.

He said: “This is a health board that has not had its troubles to seek, and these revelations worsen that picture.

‘‘The idea of patients being turned away from hospital doors is incredible, and shows just how ill-equipped the Scottish Government manages to be every winter.

“This is an extremely shabby way to treat patients, and for many this will have been the final straw. The health secretary must examine the goings on today as a matter of urgency, to ensure they are not repeated in future.

“We know the population is increasing and ageing, that’s been the trend for some time, and there is no excuse for the SNP to be continually caught out by this.”

Services at the North-east hospital faced intense pressure last week with staff dealing with high volumes of people arriving at the A&E department.

SNP MSP Dennis Robertson said: “We know the winter months can be challenging for our health boards, in particular A&E services. One key to addressing the challenge is tackling delayed discharge, which frees up capacity across the NHS.

“That is exactly why we’ve made over £28 million available to support boards experiencing an increase in demand over the winter and ensured local plans are in place across Scotland, supported by this extra investment.

“This investment is enabling the creation of an extra 200 intermediate care beds across Scotland, expanding community capacity substantially.

“Boards are working hard to deliver these plans and ensure long waits in A&E are minimised.

“It is ironic that the Tories are raising this issue. They are so intent on privatising the NHS that even Labour - who were their partners in the No campaign - are warning about the dangers of another five years of the Tories being in charge of the NHS.”

NHS Grampian categorically denied reports suggesting they had a shortage of mattresses or drugs.

A spokesperson for NHS Grampian said: “We opened additional areas to cope with the current pressure which may mean that in the lead up to these areas receiving patients, equipment may be in transit and not immediately available.

“We would emphasise that for sound safety reasons, clinical areas are not open to patients until all the necessary arrangements are in place.”

Wednesday, January 7, saw 45 prodedures postponed.