Swinney offers ‘unreserved apology’ to patients treated in hospital corridors

The First Minister said Labour’s plans would make problems for the health service worse.

John Swinney offers ‘unreserved apology’ to NHS patients treated in hospital corridors PA Media

John Swinney has offered an “unreserved apology” to patients who have had to be treated in hospital corridors as he clashed with Anas Sarwar on the issue.

At First Minister’s Questions, the Scottish Labour leader raised a recent report from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) which found that overcrowding in Scotland’s emergency departments has led to more than half treating patients in hospital corridors.

First Minister Swinney acknowledged that the NHS is under pressure but said Labour’s policies would make the problems worse.

Sarwar referred to the report on corridor care, saying: “Imagine you or one of your loved ones lying on a trolley for hours. No privacy, no dignity, just pain and distress.

“After 17 years of this SNP government, why has corridor care become such commonplace?”

Anas Sarwar said apologies had not led to any change.PA Media

Swinney said the recovery from the pandemic and the issue of delayed discharge – which he said is being exacerbated by Brexit – is putting “significant and acute” pressure on hospitals.

He said: “If anybody is treated in the fashion that he has recounted, and I’ve seen media reports this morning of a particular case at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, then I apologise unreservedly to anybody who has that experience.

“And assure members of the public that the Government is doing all that it possibly can do to address that circumstance.”

The Glasgow Times had reported an 80-year-old man was put in a hospital storage room after suffering a stroke, where he remained for hours.

Sarwar replied: “Week after week we’ve been hearing apologies from SNP first ministers.

“Then we just get apologies the week after and the week after. Nothing actually changes in terms of people’s lived experience.”

The Scottish Labour leader said, according to RCEM estimates, more than 1,000 avoidable deaths had taken place due to delayed treatment.

Swinney reiterated the challenges facing the NHS.

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