Published by BBC NEWS - 19th April 2022

Accident and emergency sign

Image source, Getty Images

Waiting times across Scottish A&E departments have matched their worst level on record, figures show.

The Scottish government’s target is for 95% of patients to be discharged or admitted within four hours.

However, the figure was 66.2% in the week up to 10 April , matching the previous low level recorded in the week up to 20 March.

The Scottish government said incomplete data this week meant the figures were likely to be an “undercount”.

The latest figures show 7,705 of the 22,774 people who attended A&E waited more than four hours.

Of the 7,705 people who waited for more than four hours, 2,373 people waited more than eight hours and 944 were in hospital for longer than 12 hours, according to Public Health Scotland.

Across the health boards, NHS Forth Valley recorded the lowest level of people seen with four hours at 54.7%.

A&E waiting times by health board. .  Waiting times for the week ending 10 April.

Scottish Conservatives health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said it was “completely unacceptable” that more than one-third of patients were waiting over four hours in emergency departments.

“A&E, like our health service generally, is on its knees and yet the SNP’s only solution for the crisis is the health secretary’s flimsy Covid Recovery Plan, which simply isn’t cutting it. Patients and shattered staff deserve so much better,” he said.

Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said services had been in “critical condition” for months.

“Heroic NHS staff are working tirelessly to keep things running and keep patients safe, but there is only so much that can be done to paper over the cracks of SNP failure,” she said.

And the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Alex Cole-Hamilton, urged the Scottish government to focus on NHS waiting times and “set aside its ongoing work on an independence referendum”.

He added: “The health secretary must also now admit the need for an inquiry into avoidable deaths linked to the crisis in emergency care.”

A Scottish government spokesperson said: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to put pressure on hospitals and this week’s performance against the four-hour A&E measure was 66.2%.

“However, the figure is likely to be an undercount and direct weekly comparisons are difficult as NHS Highland was unable to submit complete data due to a technical issue.”




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