Helen Martin: Don’t believe political waffle on NHS

An ambulance arrives at the ERI's emergency department. Picture: Greg Macvean
An ambulance arrives at the ERI's emergency department. Picture: Greg Macvean
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The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh has come nowhere near the government’s accident and emergency target of seeing 95 per cent of patients within four hours.

We hear from politicians and NHS management employees about excuses, misreporting, apologies and goals. But we don’t hear from senior medical staff and front-line nurses.

Surely, it’s not just about targets, numbers and minutes. If someone comes in with a leg hanging off, a head injury, loss of consciousness or breathing difficulties, then the other patients with a broken thumb, a sprained ankle or a sore back will just have to wait.

Staff shortages, insufficient beds … what else is involved?

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A&E is about priorities, medical judgements and knowledge and qualified staff to deliver treatments.

Managers, executives and politicians give us waffle. Only medical staff can tell us the facts.

READ MORE: Brian Monteith: Time the SNP stopped dodging NHS responsibility