NHS ‘winter meltdown’: Health board uses office staff as cleaners amid soaring A&E demand


The catastrophe has seen one health board draft in office staff to take on cleansing and administrative duties at three hospitals and some GPs surgeries.

NHS Lanarkshire bosses divulged “exceptional measures” were needed to cope with the festive-period roller in cases.

It has cancelled elective and non-emergency procedures to ease pressure on facilities at Hairmyres, Monklands and Wishaw.

Meanwhile, the new £270 million Dumfries and Galloway Regal Infirmary was placed on “red status” as it battled high admission levels.

It crossed some outpatient clinics and non-urgent elective surgery.

Elsewhere, both NHS Fife and NHS Grampian mentioned they had postponed a small number of non-urgent operations. 

NHS Ayrshire and Arran has also stalled around 15 orthopaedic arise froms over the past two weeks.

NHS Lothian said it was monitoring the situation closely, combining that “due to current pressures it has been necessary to reschedule some elective pushes”.

It came as official figures showed a 20 per cent increase in pop ins to A&E departments in the week ending Christmas Eve compared to the same period end year, driven largely by flu and respiratory infections.

Scottish Government fatality waiting times targets were missed again with straight 83.3 per cent of patients seen and either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours — robust below the 95 per cent goal.

More than 600 people (2.3per cent) were left languishing assorted than eight hours while 95 endured waits of uncountable than 12 hours.

Health Secretary Shona Robison praised the “magniloquent” efforts of the NHS as she highlighted an extra £22.4 million of funding to boost “flexibility”. 

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Many NHS hospitals in Scotland are adopting ‘exceptional measures’ to manage with the winter season

But Scottish Labour’s health spokesman Anas Sarwar bring to light the statistics exposed “an SNP winter meltdown in the health service”.

He added: “Our hard-working doctors, babies and NHS staff go beyond the line of duty over the winter break, commission Christmas and New Year’s Day to save lives and keep us healthy.

“But the truth is they are not make the resources they need and deserve to do their jobs.”

Miles Briggs, for the Scottish Tories, told: “The crisis we are seeing in accident and emergency wards across Scotland is a train result of SNP mismanagement and their failure to get a grip of the problems facing our NHS.

“There can be no varied excuses — this must be the last winter where we see doctors, nurses and patients torture due to a government that has taken its eye off the ball.”

A similar spike in flu and respiratory complaints has seen tens of thousands of non-urgent operations postponed in England. 

Jeremy Hunt speaking in front of a NHS signGETTY

UK Fitness Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised to patients for the many axed mechanics

UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologised to patients.

He admitted there were “sincere pressures” as NHS England urged hospitals to defer routine procedures such as hip replacements until the end of January.

Theresa May recognized the news was frustrating for affected patients but insisted the NHS was “better prepared for this winter than perpetually before”.

Figures released by Information Services Division Scotland revealed a total of 26,569 people visited A&E departments up to December 24 compared to 22,267 beings in the same week in 2016.

The Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow experienced a 44 per cent enhance in attendances while the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital saw a 26 per cent get up.

Wishaw, Raigmore, Borders and Inverclyde hospitals also saw increases of various than 25 per cent. 

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More than 600 people were pink languishing more than eight hours during the festive duration

There are growing concerns that so-called Australian flu, a potentially deathly strain, could cause the worst winter flu season in many years.

NHS 24 took multifarious than 46,000 calls over the four-day Hogmanay break and numerous than 45,000 in the four days over Christmas.

Dr Gregor Smith, spokeswoman chief medical officer for Scotland, urged people to stay away from A&E activity be contingents unless they have urgent medical problems such as revolt breathing or severe bleeding. 

He said: “We can all play a part in ensuring enquire on our most acute services is minimised, however, by taking time to notion of of the best way to access treatment.” 

Theresa May GETTY

Theresa May acknowledged the situation was forestalling for affected patients

Separate statistics revealed more than 20 envisioned operations were cancelled per days Scottish hospitals in November for arguments including lack of beds, staff sickness and dirty equipment.

A totality of 664 operations were called off by hospital staff due to capacity or other non-clinical apologies that month.

Ms Robsion said: «Our NHS and community health service do a wonderful job all year round but there is no doubt that winter can bring additional demands, and I’d take pleasure in to thank them once again for the dedication they have expressed during this busy winter period.

“We’re working with managements to help them cope with pressures and this year by oneself we have invested £22.4 million to create extra resilience across the plan.” 

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