Winter pressures on health and social care

Health Secretary thanks frontline staff.

Health Secretary Michael Matheson met frontline A&E staff at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) in Paisley today to see first-hand how services are coping with peak winter demand.

Mr Matheson thanked teams for their ongoing efforts and met RAH staff working to keep the flow of patients moving through the hospital to help reduce pressures building up in the emergency department, and avoid people being delayed in hospital longer than necessary.  

With hospitals across the country remaining extremely busy, Mr Matheson thanked the public for continuing to do their part to help ease pressure on A&E by considering if their condition is an emergency before attending.

Mr Matheson said:

“Our health and care services are now dealing with peak winter demand. There is no doubt the situation remains very challenging so I am extremely grateful to all our highly skilled and committed NHS and social care staff for their continued hard work and dedication.

“The public have really played their part so far, by considering whether their condition is an emergency before going to A&E. To help relieve pressure on services it’s vital everyone continues to do that. Local GPs and pharmacies can be contacted during the day for non-critical care, NHS 24 is also available on 111 for non-emergencies, and the NHS Inform website is an invaluable resource. However, let me be clear - urgent care will always be available for those who need it. If someone needs emergency care they should call 999 or go straight to A&E.

“The NHS 24 service dealt with significant demand over Christmas and New Year and, although very challenging, the system handled the large volume of calls very well. which was down to all those involved in the implementation of months of pre-winter planning, which started in spring, to ensure services were available to those in need. I am especially grateful to those across health and social care who sacrificed their time and worked over the bank holidays.”


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