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The majority of problems in Scottish hospitals and ambulance services are not due to Covid, a senior surgeon has said.
Professor Michael Griffin, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, has warned that Scotland has “a real workforce problem in the NHS and in the social services” which needs to be addressed and is causing a “vicious circle” affecting all parts of the health service.
His comments come a day after Nicola Sturgeon said the crisis was “largely caused by pressure from Covid” and the Scottish government officially requested the military to help support the ambulance service.
â€œIt’s not just due to Covid,â€ Professor Griffin said, adding that the pandemic is responsible for â€œprobably 30 to 40% of the problems we seeâ€.
He said: “With elective surgeries reduced in many health boards across Scotland, it’s not just Covid.
â€œIt has a big contribution, but there are other multiple factors involved and it’s a pretty complex situation.
â€œWe have staff absences due to illness, recruitment and isolation, so we are unable to staff some areas.
“There is a real problem in getting patients out of hospitals at the moment and getting them to benefit from social services, because there is a workforce crisis in nursing homes that is causing problems and problems. bed blockages.
â€œIf the hospital beds are all full, it is extremely difficult for ambulance drivers to get their patients to the hospital, on carts, in A&E and in beds if they need to be hospitalized. .
â€œIt’s a bit of a vicious cycle.
He described the Scottish Government’s stimulus package and diagnostic center proposals as “very good steps forward”.
But he added: “They will not be of any use to us in the short term unless we can staff them and at the moment we are seriously short of nurses to be able to staff them.
“It’s great to have surgeons and anesthetists, but if we don’t have the extensive surgical team and the essential nurses and other healthcare workers, we can’t really do our jobs.”