NHS Grampian hospitals suffering from bed shortage, says Banff and Buchan MP

Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid fears staff and patients in the North-east are “paying the price” for cuts to acute beds in NHS Grampian hospitals.

By Kevin McRoberts
Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 7:33 am
David Duguid MP has criticised the cuts in NHS Grampian hospital beds.
David Duguid MP has criticised the cuts in NHS Grampian hospital beds.

He called on the Scottish Government to give the area’s health board more beds in its hospitals after figures show NHS Grampian has suffered the second highest reduction in the country.

Public Health Scotland show there is now an average of 143 fewer acute beds across NHS Grampian than there was last year – only Greater Glasgow and Clyde has a higher figure. Figures also show the health board has seen a reduction of 203 acute beds since 2015/16, with 351 fewer than in 2011/12.

Across Scotland, the average number of acute beds available in hospitals fell by 335 over the last year. The number of beds has now fallen by 954 since 2015/16 and by more than 1350 since 2011/12.

Mr Duguid said “The pandemic has completely exposed how the SNP have been slow to act in recent years to ensure NHS Grampian have the beds they need.”

He added: “The SNP Government are only reacting when the situation has hit breaking point with ambulance provision and A&E waiting times in the North-east also in a crisis. This simply isn’t going to cut it as the health board gears up for an extremely difficult winter in the coming months.”

The Scottish Government this month announced new investment of over £300 million in hospital and community care to help tackle what is anticipated to be the toughest winter the NHS and social care system has ever faced.

As well as funding to increase staffing levels, the package includes £40 million for ‘step-down’ care to enable hospital patients to temporarily enter care homes, or receive additional care at home support, with no financial liability to the individual or their family; and over £60 million to maximise the capacity of care at home services.

Health Secretary Humza Youssaf said: “These measures will help patients whose discharge has been delayed waiting for care and help get them out of hospital and on to the next stage in their care.

"This helps the individual by getting them the right care, and helps the wider system by ensuring the hospital capacity is being used by those who need that specialist level of clinical care.”