Health chiefs have told how their emergency departments are being tied up with patients suffering from “rashes”, “dental pain” and “throats” sore for “less than one day”.
This comes among calls for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde bosses to draft in the Army – if it helps improve services for patients.
New figures this week revealed waiting times for emergency patients at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital have improved – but only marginally.
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New data reveals that only 65.2 per cent of patients who attended A&E last week were seen in line with the government’s four hour target.
The figure is an improvement on the 62.3 per cent of those attending who were treated, admitted, transferred or discharged within the four hour timescale the week before – the worst recorded performance recorded on available records dating back to 2015.
But a spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde told how emergency departments are being clogged up with minor ailments, saying: “Unfortunately, our Emergency Departments are still seeing people who do not need to be there, with common inappropriate presentations including period pain, dental pain, urinary tract infections, sore throat (less than one day) and rashes.
“We would urge everyone that, unless their condition is life-threatening, they should not attend an Emergency Department.”
Data from the NHS reveals that 1,144 patients attended at the Corsebar Road site’s emergency department in the week until October 10.
Some 398 waited more than the Scottish Government’s four hour target, while 135 patients waited more than eight hours.
A considerable number of patients – 41 in total – waited 12 hours or more, up on last week’s 33-strong 12 hour toll.
Scottish Government targets demand that 95 per cent of patients attending emergency departments are treated, admitted, transferred or discharged within a four hour window.
Paisley-based MSP Neil Bibby, who earlier called on Health Secretary Humza Yousaf to step in, also said the NHS needs help from the ground up.
He told the Express: “The government and the health board should be doing everything they can to build back NHS services safely and sustainably.
“There is whole system pressure across the NHS. RAH staff have told me that building back GP services and fixing health and social care is needed to help take the pressure off frontline A&E staff. “
Labour’s Neil, added: “We need a recovery plan for the NHS that works, even if that means drawing on emergency resources like the UK Armed Forces to ensure people get the care they need.”
NHS boses revealed earlier in the week how they have not ruled out calling for military help to shore up tired staff.
They said they are “exploring options” relating to Army assistance, as NHS boards in Grampian, Lanarkshire, Borders and Ayrshire and Arran asked the Scottish Government for forces help.
But the NHS spokesman said the sickest patients are an A&E priority, adding:”At the Royal Alexandra Hospital, and at all Emergency Departments across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, patients who need the most urgent care continue to be seen most quickly.
“We accept that, as is the case across Scotland, many people are facing a long wait, and we’re very sorry for that. We are doing what we can to address this issue. Our thanks go to our staff who are working extremely hard to treat patients as quickly as possible.”
He urged patients to contact their GP if necessary, saying: “Please remember that our partner GP surgeries across the Board area are open, and continue to provide great care for their communities. Pharmacies also have expert knowledge and can advise on minor ailments, or simple healthcare advice.”
Patients are also urged to contact NHS24 on 111 to access care.
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