Glasgow health board issues urgent appeal as staff ‘struggle to cope’ with demand

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has issued an “urgent public appeal” asking people to stay away from A&E unless their condition is very urgent or life-threatening, as staff struggle to cope with “unprecedented and unsustainable” demand.

Accident and Emergency departments across the health board are all operating well over capacity, officials said, which is having a “huge impact” on service provision.

It comes as health secretary Humza Yousaf said the NHS faces “really difficult decisions” in the coming week as pressure is expected to mount.

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What is NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde saying?

Dr Scott Davidson, deputy medical director for Acute Services at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said staff are under “severe” pressure.

Castle Street, Glasgow, Scotland, UK; Ambulances at the entrance to the Accident and Emergency department of the Royal Infirmary.

“Our A&Es remain open and continue to assess, treat and admit emergency patients, however they are extremely busy and staff are facing huge challenges to ensure we’re able to treat patients safely and as quickly as possible,” he said.

“We continue to see large numbers of people attending with symptoms that could be managed by speaking to a GP, local pharmacy, or, by calling NHS24 on 111 before attending A&E.

“As a result of current demand at A&E, people are facing long wait times and our staff are under severe pressure.

“There are other services geared up and ready to see and treat you. If you’ve had a slip, trip or fall, we have numerous Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) across NHSGGC which can look after you, including if you’ve broken a limb.”