A record-breaking number of people attending accident and emergency in the first week of January is a symptom of the country’s GP crisis, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
New figures have revealed 26,415 turned up to casualty departments in those seven days, the highest since weekly recording of the statistics began in 2016.
That’s a 2000 rise on four years ago, and reveals the immense pressure hospitals are under as people struggle to find primary care alternatives.
The hike comes despite this winter bringing no flu epidemic or severe weather, both of which are challenges that have occurred in previous years.
Last weekend, the Royal College of GPs said “sustained under-funding over the last decade” had impacted areas like A&E units.
Shadow health secretary Miles Briggs pointed out that’s a decade in which the SNP has had full control over the NHS in Scotland.
In 2008, the SNP government actually promised to reduce A&E admissions, but the numbers have only risen since that time.
All the while, GP practices have closed, average practice lists increased by 15 per cent, and scores of family doctors have left the profession.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:
“There’s now no question that a rise in people going to A&E is linked to the GP crisis caused by the SNP.
“Patients say it, doctors themselves say it, and after 13 years in charge of the NHS, the SNP has no-one to blame but itself.
“For years we have warned the nationalists that a lack of primary care alternatives will force more and more people into casualty units which are already struggling to cope.
“Those warnings have been ignored, which is why we saw a record number of admissions in the first week of January.”
Notes to editors:
ISD Scotland weekly A&E figures revealed the following number of attendances in the first week of January:
2020 – 26,415
2019 – 26.047
2018 – 25,323
2017 – 25,125
2016 – 24,452
The Royal College of GPs warned about underfunding last weekend:
In 2008, the SNP government actually promised to reduce A&E admissions: