Lengthy waits are the norm in A&Es across Scotland and have been for some time. On Easter Monday, my first patients were waiting to be transferred up to the ward for most of my 12-hour shift. Thankfully they remained relatively well, but that isn’t always the case.
I’ve seen the numbers of patients in our departments reach new peaks week to week. Typically, when this happened previously, we would divert ambulances to another A&E, but right now we’re all feeling these pressures all the time.
We just don’t have the staff to monitor that number of patients safely; we can’t repeat observations as often as we would like, we simply can’t keep eyes on all our patients all the time. And we just don’t have the space to see them, so short of examining patients in the corridor, they have to wait, and wait.