Two deaths in one month at hospital linked to staffing issues

Figures show there were 336 incidents in a four week period due to staffing or inappropriate skills mix.

Staffing issues contribute to two deaths at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital SNS Group

Two people died at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow within four weeks of each other which staffing issues contributed to, it has been revealed.

According to official figures, 336 incidents due to staffing or an inappropriate skills mix were recorded across the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board between July 18 and August 18 this year.

It included two deaths at the flagship QEUH in the south west of Glasgow.

Of the total number of incidents, 59 were recorded across the board as ‘near misses’, with a further 14 causing illness or injury.

The figures were published following a Freedom of Information request.

Scottish Labour public health spokesperson Paul O’Kane warned that the NHS workforce is overstretched, with further difficulties expected over winter.

“These tragic figures lay bare the cost of the workforce crisis engulfing our NHS,” he said.

“Lives have been lost, patients have been hurt and dozens more catastrophes were narrowly avoided.

“NHS workforce is overstretched and undervalued and these terrifying figures are a glimpse of what will happen on a larger scale if the Scottish Government’s negligence continues.

“Our worst fears are already being realised and things will only get worse as we head into winter.

“Hardworking NHS staff are being put in these impossible positions because of the SNP government’s failure.

“Humza Yousaf must act now before winter begins.”

Health secretary Humza Yousaf set out the investment being made by the Government to recruit staff.

“Our thoughts are with anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one while in our care,” he said.

“The health service is facing a triple threat this winter – recovering from the worst effects of the pandemic, high energy costs and rising inflation, and the loss of much needed staff due to Brexit.

“Like health services across the UK and globally, we expect this winter to be one of the most difficult NHS Scotland has faced.

“Through our £600m health and care plan we are recruiting 1,000 new NHS staff, including up to 750 nurses, midwives and allied health professionals from overseas.

“A key focus of our £600m winter plan is on social care and actions to encourage integration authorities to help alleviate delays.”

He added: “We continue to take positive action to promote patient safety and just last month we introduced the Patient Safety Commissioner Bill to Parliament.

“This legislation will further strengthen the patient voice within the healthcare system and take action to promote patient safety across our healthcare system as a whole.”

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