LAST week, I spoke in the Scottish Parliament about NHS waiting times.

In recent months, Scotland’s NHS has faced its longest A&E waiting times ever; its longest cancer waiting times ever; its longest ambulance waiting times ever; its longest diagnostic waiting times ever; and the highest number of beds occupied due to delayed discharge ever.

Elderly people have been left in hospital beds unable to be discharged.

Cancer patients have waited too long for diagnosis and treatment.

Ambulances containing the sick and the dying have been queuing outside hospitals.

And patients have waited hours – and sometimes days – for lifesaving treatment.

Take the situation at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s A&E department last month as an example.

At every hour of every single day, the department was over capacity – by an average of 80 additional patients at all times.

East Lothian Courier: South Scotland MSP Craig HoySouth Scotland MSP Craig Hoy

Here in East Lothian, we have seen the closure of local services like Edington Cottage Hospital in North Berwick, which was closed over a year ago with no prior consultation and at a time when demand for health services is growing.

This has created extra pressures for our emergency departments and hospitals by transferring patients out of North Berwick and increasing wait times for local patients.

According to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, at least 500 people died because of delays in our NHS last year.

And this coming winter, the storm clouds of a looming winter crisis are circling over our NHS.

Sadly, all we see from the SNP/Green Government is a failure to get to grips with the crisis in our NHS.

Nicola Sturgeon once promised she would fight for the interests of everyone in Scotland. She now must put her words into actions and do everything she can to support our NHS this winter.