Leaders: ‘Doing nothing is not an option for NHS chiefs’

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The severe capacity issues facing the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary must be addressed.

We cannot be in the situation where the Capital’s main hospital cannot cope, or has to send patients elsewhere.

Of course, the problems are amplified at this time of year, but this is not a purely seasonal problem.

It goes all the way back to the original design of the Little France facility, coupled with a soaring and ageing population.

So what to do about it? We can continue to moan about mistakes which were made in the PFI deal to build the hospital, or we can go about trying to fix it.

NHS Lothian chief executive Tim Davison today reveals his blueprint to redesign services including some measures, such as telephone consultations and bringing in portable buildings, which may well prove controversial.

But doing nothing is not an option as the demand on the ERI and the health service in general is only going to increase in the future.

We must ensure the impact of any changes is closely monitored and trust it will be reviewed and reversed if any issues emerge.

But if these measures allow the hospital to operate more efficiently, safely and, most importantly, to the real benefit of patients then they should be supported.

As we have said before, the issues facing NHS Lothian are not of Mr Davison’s making and he has made a very positive start to turning the situation round.

We hope this continues into 2013 and we can look forward to moving on from the seemingly endless stream of controversy to allow the dedicated staff to get on with their work with the support and facilities they need.

It is fair to say 2012 has been a year to forget for NHS Lothian. Let’s hope 2013 is remembered for the right reasons.

Unsung heroes

WITH just hours to go until the big day, most of us will be looking forward to the festivities and spending time with family and friends.

For others, however, tomorrow will just be a normal day as they put Christmas on hold to ensure the city keeps running.

So as you tuck into your turkey, spare a thought for the nurses, emergency workers and council staff who are continuing to work on as normal as the rest of the city enjoys itself.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes to them and to all our readers.