All is not well


There have been a range of symptoms in recent months showing that all is not well with our National Health Service.


We’ve had the survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing which found that over half of nurses are under too much pressure.


There was the investigation by the Herald Newspaper which uncovered that junior doctors are working more than 90 hours a week.


And we also had an inspection report produced by Healthcare Improvement Scotland which said that staff were having difficulty in meeting the care needs of elderly patients.


Now we learn that bed capacity rates in hospitals throughout the country have reached levels which are deemed to be unsafe.


Indeed, between July 2012 and August 2013, two of the General Medicine Wards at Inverclyde Royal Hospital had average bed capacity rates of over 95%.


Dr Neil Dewhurst - a leading healthcare professional - has said that these levels of bed capacity are suggestive of a hospital and medical team are under severe pressure.


It’s believed that such levels can also have an adverse impact on patient care. In order to ease pressure on the service, patients can be moved to other wards meaning that they won’t get the specialist care they need. ‘Boarding’ as it’s called, can also result in longer stays in hospital and can increase the risk of the spread of infection.


It’s clear we need to find a cure for our NHS. However, as I have said previously in this column, I fear that the Scottish Government will continue to focus on its obsession with Independence, and as a result, we will be waiting a long time before our National Health Service makes a full recovery.