Critical time for Lanarkshire hospitals

NHS Lanarkshire is currently beyond critical occupancy levels across its three acute hospitals.

The sustained pressure means the health board has decided to return to the highest risk level.

Heather Knox, NHS Lanarkshire chief executive, said: “We are facing relentless pressures, bed shortages and staff shortages due to annual leave, sickness absence and self-isolation. University Hospitals Wishaw, Hairmyres and Monklands are all at maximum capacity.

“The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority and we are working through short and medium term actions to increase staffing and also improve the flow of patients in and out of hospital.

NHS Lanarkshire is currently beyond critical occupancy levels across its three acute hospitals, including Wishaw.

“The current situation puts us back to the highest level of risk. The impact of the current pressures is being felt right across the health care system, including GP practices which remain extremely busy.

“We recognise that our staff are doing everything they can and showing the highest levels of professionalism, commitment and resilience. We hope the current actions being taken will help ease the pressures.

“Despite this escalated level of risk, we have decided at present to continue to maintain our current visiting arrangements. However, this will be kept under review.

“Our three A&Es remain extremely busy with long waiting times to be seen. Patients are also waiting in A&E for admission to beds. We strongly advise people that, if your condition isn’t life-threatening, please do not attend our A&Es – call NHS 24 on 111 to access the right care. Only go to A&E, or call 999, if it’s an emergency.”