Moray MP Douglas Ross says he is “deeply concerned” about staffing issues at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin after it emerged there have been five occasions this year where no emergency medical consultant was on duty at night time.
The information was uncovered through a Freedom of Information Request by the Scottish Conservatives and it revealed that on five dates in April no emergency consultant was available, even in the form of locum staff.
The lack of a duty consultant occurred on 1st, 4th, 5th, 22nd and 23rd April.
An emergency medical consultant provides senior leadership in emergency departments in hospitals.
Responsibilities include providing clinical care to patients, supervising and supporting doctors providing emergency medical care and working closely with management teams to ensure safe processes are in place for patients arriving with emergency conditions.
Douglas says the issues are symptomatic of the “dire” workforce planning in the health service which is occurring on the SNP’s watch and often hits more rural hospitals the most.
He says patients in Moray will be alarmed that no consultant was available in the areas flagship hospital on so many occasions in just a few weeks and that Humza Yousaf needs to urgently address staffing issues that are clearly impacting Dr Gray’s.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said:
“These findings are deeply concerning.
“Emergency medical consultants are absolutely vital for our health service and it is completely unacceptable that this situation occurred on so many occasions in just a single month this year.
“It is a damning indictment of successive SNP Health Secretaries failing to deal with workforce planning within our health service.
“All too often it is our rural hospitals like Dr Gray’s who are the most affected and it is other heroic frontline staff and patients who pay the price for the Scottish government’s inaction.
“Our NHS is in crisis on the SNP’s watch and this lack of night time cover will understandably make patients alarmed about what will happen if they have to turn up requiring emergency care at Dr Gray’s.
“While thankfully this didn’t cause any issues with patient safety on these occasions, this cannot become a trend at Dr Gray’s.
“Patients across Moray need to see Humza Yousaf finally show leadership once and for all and ensure that he is fully on top of these serious staffing issues that have been ongoing for far too long.”