Tue 6 Jul, 2021

This surge in demand will undoubtedly be placing strain on health services while COVID-19 case numbers are so high Gillian Mackay

A spike in A&E submissions shows health services may still be vulnerable to COVID cases rising, the Scottish Greens have said.

Public Health Scotland figures released today show that A&E attendances rose by 49,021 between February and May, with the 4 hour waiting time standard for A&E departments still not being met.

This could be a combination of a surge in COVID cases linked to the new variants and a backlog of cases of previously undiagnosed conditions.

Responding to the figures, Scottish Greens health spokesperson Gillian Mackay MSP said:

“The spike in numbers of people going to A&E is hopefully a sign that more people are accessing health services when they have worrying symptoms, and we must continue to encourage those who are concerned to seek help. This surge in demand will undoubtedly be placing strain on health services, however, while COVID-19 case numbers are so high. That we have once again failed to meet the 4-hour waiting time standard clearly shows the pressure that A&E departments are under.

“The Scottish Government must do more to raise awareness of the community services that are available, as some of those attending A&E will be able to get the care they need at their local pharmacy, for example. It must also ensure that the NHS is properly supported to meet rising demand. A&E departments and GP surgeries are extremely busy at the moment and there are no signs of this abating as previously undiagnosed conditions emerge and backlogs of care are worked through. They cannot be expected to provide pre-pandemic levels of service without increased resource.”

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