Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP, Liz Smith, has said that new findings from the Scottish Critical Care Audit in relation to the availability of ICU Beds at Ninewells should act as a warning sign over plans to relocate all emergency surgery to the hospital.
According to the audit, the number of ICU beds available is “inadequate” to meet demand and as a result patients are more likely to be discharged early to another bed in the hospital with a lower level of care.
The Tayside ICU had the highest early discharge rate of patients in the country at 7%, which is three times higher than the national average.
Under plans to reorganise surgical care at the health board, Ninewells will be responsible for dealing with all emergency surgery admissions in the region.
Commenting, Liz Smith MSP said:
“One of the biggest concerns in relation to the reorganisation of surgical services in Tayside is the ability of Ninewells to cope with increased demand.
"Today’s report from the Scottish Critical Care Audit has done little to dispel these fears and it is now time for the Scottish Government to provide clear answers over how they will deal with this.
“Ultimately, in serious cases some patients will need to use an ICU bed and it is concerning to hear there is already an “inadequate” number to meet demand.
"Patient safety has to be the number one concern for everyone involved in healthcare and it is obvious that there are capacity issues with ICU beds that will require additional support from the Scottish Government to solve."