Confront Bed Shortages


 When your elderly relative has suffered a serious accident, the last thing you expect to hear is that there is no room at the hospital.


Well, as the front page story of the Greenock Telegraph recently revealed, this is what local resident Ann Anderson heard as she accompanied her 98 year old relative to the IRH.


Despite the best efforts of staff, her relative was forced to wait seven long hours before a bed was freed up.


But this is not just a one off incident as some would try and have you believe.


As you will know, nurses and union officials also raised their serious concerns in the Greenock Telegraph in January, about a patient who had to wait a shocking seventeen hours before a bed became available.


And just last week, Scotland’s watchdog – Audit Scotland – said that across the country, A&E waiting time targets were not being met.


What’s more, the Scottish government failed to pay heed to warnings that waiting time figures were being manipulated.


As a result of the government’s decision to turn a blind eye, patients have suffered and the reputation of the National Health Service has been put on the line.


The government can no longer pretend incidents such as those raised in the Greenock Telegraph, and indeed across Scotland, are isolated.


They can no longer ignore this serious issue or simply wish it away.


They must face up to the fact that such incidents are symptomatic of a wider problem, and do what all good governments should do, take responsibility and confront the situation head on.


The well-being and lives of patients depend on it.