Union Unite has called for military personnel to be used to augment NHS staff and ease pressure on hospitals.

Unite Union Convener Jamie McNamee said:

“Regularly we have ambulances queuing at facilities throughout Scotland. A couple of good examples are Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow where routinely crews will wait three hours. Our first option would be to initiate internal national risk and resilience procedures.

That would entail building or producing pop-up wards outside the A&E departments that are unable to cope with demand, allow the crews to hand over the patients to these trained clinicians and free up that mobile asset to respond to treble-nine calls.

I believe the Army would have similar facilities that could come in helpful. I’m sure they’re busy themselves, however I think we find ourselves in a bit of a national crisis at the moment.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said:

“Despite the pressure coronavirus has brought upon our ambulance service, which serves some of the most rural areas in the UK, in 2020-21 crews responded to over 70% of highest priority calls in under 10 minutes and more than 99% in under 30 minutes. It is vitally important there are no unnecessary delays for ambulances taking patients to hospital and we continue to work closely with the service and with health boards across Scotland to ensure ambulances are cleared as quickly as possible.”

The military is already in use helping four ambulance trusts in England due to high demand and staffing shortage. BBC News previously reported that almost 100 members of the Army will be used to work alongside NHS staff.

Military personnel from the 12th and 16th Royal Artillery regiment arrived at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in January in order to work with the portering teams.

More than 100 porters work at the hospital and play an important role in the smooth running of all services. From moving patients, managing waste, delivering pharmacy products and ensuring departments have the vital equipment they need to care for patients in the hospital.

Terece Walters, Clinical Director of Facilities and Engineering, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome the British Army at the County hospital. Porters provide a crucial service to every aspect of the hospital. The military support will be invaluable to our teams who play an important role in keeping the hospital running.”

It is hoped that additional clinical and support staff would speed up movement throughout hospitals, assessing and moving patients quicker, freeing up ambulance crews.

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farouk
farouk
3 days ago

Point to note, NHS Scotland is a completely different entity to NHS England.

Mark
Mark
2 days ago
Reply to  farouk

At this stage it shouldn’t need to be explained, all the Home Nations operate independently effectively, NI NHS has been getting support from the Republic on and off for example.

George
George
2 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I’m not sure anyone has suggested otherwise, to be honest.

Rob
Rob
2 days ago

Point to note everyone, this isn’t the time for anti SNP schadenfreude. The British Armed Forces serve all the nations of the Union. If NHS Scotland need help the Army should provide it because it’s Scotland’s Army too. Down south we’ve had great Covid assistance from service men & women from all over the Union.

farouk
farouk
2 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Not where I was going. The home nations run their own NHS departments and as such, it should be made clear that any short coming’s within their own geographical locations is down to them. The Welsh and the Scottish go out of their way to blame London for anything and everything, no problem with that, but on the otherside of the coin it must be made clear that London has very little say in how they run their fiefdoms and thus they have to take responsibility for any shortfalls.

Johan
Johan
1 hour ago
Reply to  Rob

NO down south the Army has been assisting across the country to deliver and support the NHS, Fire Crews have been manning Ambulances on regular basis.

the issue is taken 3 hours to hand over patients once at hospitals, as they are sat in an Ambulance.

They need to sort the patient handover from the crews.

Martyn Palmer
Martyn Palmer
2 days ago

So they like the Union when it suits them

James
James
2 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Palmer

Oh of course they like the bank that funds them.

Marius
Marius
2 days ago

The oft repeated truth, repeated ad nauseum in the House of Commons, is that the Scottish government must concentrate on the day job. The fully devolved Scottish NHS with two (yes two) Cabinet members overseeing health, should be a priority for the Nationalists, not their incessant banging on about independence.

Mark
Mark
2 days ago
Reply to  Marius

The NI health service (run by a Unionist) has needed support from the Republic, NHS England needed support from the British Army as well and I assume the Minister is a Unionist there as well.

Johan
Johan
1 hour ago

I Have no issues with are Service personnel, Helping anyone across the UK, its what we expect.

But helping people who haven’t been vaccinated, is another matter…

need a Vaccine for the Stupid,

imagine if you could get a Vaccine to make you a Millionaire, would the Anti vaxers be the 1st in the queues.