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Scottish health staff under immense pressure

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A leading medic has warned that Scotland’s health staff are under “almost intolerable pressure” as a result of cuts in hospital beds, extreme staff shortages and ever-increasing hospital admissions. Health secretary Alex Neil defended this, saying that even though hospital staff are facing increasing pressure, that it’s not all “doom and gloom”.

The president of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, who is due to leave the position soon, said that an agreed set of manageable standards must be set nationally to help solve the problem. Dr Drewhurst’s comments followed the release of the latest series of health statistics, which highlighted problems regarding waiting times, bed blocking, drug and alcohol treatment and staff levels.

Figures recently published by the Information Services Division (ISD) of NHS Scotland revealed:

  • The number of cases of bed blocking has risen. Bed blocking is when patients are unable to be discharged from hospital having completed their treatment. January this year saw a rise of more than 50% in cases of bed blocking, with 254 people still in hospital four weeks after treatment this January.
  • Only 90% of patients were treated in December 2013 within the national waiting time target of treating patients within 18 weeks of referral.
  • The number of people being treated for alcohol-related problems has decreased. In the year leading up to March 2013, around 36,000 people were treated as a result of alcohol-related incidents.
  • The NHS workforce is increasing. The figure is up 1.5% on last year’s figure as a result of the health service employing 158,000 people at the end of 2013.

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