Extra £12m pledged for hospital emergency care to ease pressure

A number of hospitals have announced they have reached capacity and postponed non-urgent surgery.

Extra £12m pledged for hospital emergency care to ease pressure PA Ready
Warning: A number of hospitals have announced they have reached capacity and postponed non-urgent surgery.

The NHS will receive an extra £12m to help reduce waiting times for non-Covid emergency care, the Scottish Government says.

A rise in A&E attendances which are not coronavirus-related is putting hospitals under additional pressure during the pandemic.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said urgent treatment, including vital cancer care, would continue.

The government is also urging people to help the NHS by considering options closer to home when they need medical attention such as calling the 111 service.

A number of hospitals have announced they have reached capacity and postponed non-urgent surgery.

Yousaf said: “We are acutely aware that hospitals are facing significant challenges due to a rise in non-Covid attendances and that some health boards are taking necessary measures to protect urgent and emergency care capacity.

“This £12m will support them to do so.

“We are working closely with those health boards experiencing the greatest challenges to ensure the funding delivers the improvements required.

“Our NHS staff continue to work tirelessly to respond to the pandemic whilst providing vital non-Covid treatment and safe patient care.

“Any reductions to service will be short-term to ensure those of most critical need have immediate medical attention.

“Urgent treatment, including vital cancer treatment, will continue during this challenging period.”

NHS Lothian chief executive Calum Campbell said: “Hospitals across Scotland are dealing with the pandemic, while seeing an increase in non-Covid patients arriving at their doors.

“We are grateful to the Scottish Government for working with us to ensure everyone who needs urgent or emergency care is prioritised – such as vital cancer treatment or accident and emergency care for life-threatening conditions.”