Crisis at Wishaw General saw patients diverted to Monklands 10 miles away

NHS Lanarkshire has admitted that some patients at Wishaw General Hospital had to be diverted to Monklands on Sunday, November 14 as staff found themselves unable to cope with the scale of admissions.

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Whilst denying reports that the Accident and Emergency unit was closed, the board has admitted that some patients had to be moved on to the Airdrie-based premises , ten miles away.

Judith Park, NHS Lanarkshire director or acute services confirmed: "We had diversions in place for a period of time on that Sunday at University Hospital Wishaw due to significantly high levels of activity and bed shortages at the site. Our A&E department remained open and we continued to see patients.

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“When we experience an exceptionally high rate of emergency admissions, we work as a clinical network to divert some patients to another NHS Lanarkshire hospital where it is clinically appropriately to do so.”

However that is just not good enough, according to MSP Meghan Gallacher who blames the Scottish Government’s health secretary Humza Yusef who she quizzed in Parliament on this matter two days later

The Central Scotland Conservative List MSP said: "This disgraceful situation shows how much of a crisis NHS Lanarkshire is in.

"Humza Yousaf’s responses to my urgent questions simply weren't good enough or reassuring for my constituents. He has failed to get a grip of this situation in NHS Lanarkshire for too long, despite the incredible efforts of frontline staff and the support being given from our UK Armed Forces. He was shamefully dismissive to myself and colleagues instead of outlining a clear plan. He must get a grip now before winter really begins to bite."

A Scottish Government spokesperson would not be drawn on the specifics but said: “Scotland’s core A&Es continue to outperform those in the rest of the UK, and have done so for more than six years.The Health Secretary has been very clear this will be the most difficult winter in NHS history and that’s why we’ve announced £300 million of measures to increase NHS and social care capacity as part of our strategy to simultaneously tackle the various issues combining in extra A&E waits.”