Praise for staff given unprecedented pressures
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead has visited Dr Gray’s Hospital to tour the wards and speak to staff, patients and their families.
He was accompanied on the tour by Hospital Manager Alasdair Pattinson.
During his visit he also visited the A&E department to see for himself the enormous pressures staff and patients are facing this winter.
Speaking after his visit, Mr Lochhead said:
“I try and visit Dr Gray’s every New Year to thank the staff for all their efforts.
“This year I witnessed the hospital under incredible pressure due to a combination of factors, but especially severe winter pressures with many people sick with the flu, covid and other conditions, as well as patients who had broken bones due to the bad winter weather, and the backlogs caused by the pandemic.
“After the height of the pandemic, people have been circulating again over the festive period with immunity a bit lower and people appearing to be more sick as a result, according to what some of the nurses were telling me.
“Of course staff get sick too which puts extra pressure on the wards and I pay tribute to the nurses, doctors, auxiliary staff, and everyone I met, who are working long hours and showing the utmost dedication and commitment to care for patients against such a challenging backdrop.
“This is also a tough time for our local ambulance crews who are also having to cope with such high demand.
“Dr Gray’s like every hospital across Scotland and the UK has been under a great deal of strain due to such high demand these past few weeks and I have written urgently to the NHS asking for every option to be explored to help relieve the pressure.
“In particular, I am asking what can be done to speed up elderly patients who are ready to go home, being discharged back into the community to free up hospital beds as this would make a huge difference both for the patients and for bed availability.
“I know there are also challenges in the social care sector in Moray and ensuring appropriate care packages are put together but hopefully more progress can be made here.
“I urge everyone to follow NHS advice that says if you think you need to visit A&E but it’s not life threatening you can phone NHS24 on 111 for urgent care.”