A&E admissions highest since before Covid pandemic

The number of people visiting accident and emergency departments is at its highest since before the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures reveal.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 12:56 pm

The last week in May saw 26,115 Scots attend an A&E department, the most since the final week of February 2020.

Of those, 85.7 per cent were seen and admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours – below the Scottish Government target of 95 per cent.

The figures, published by Public Health Scotland, also show 410 patients spent more than eight hours waiting to be seen at an A&E department, while a further 109 patients waited longer than 12 hours.

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Ambulances at the Glasgow Royal Hospital. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Some 4,633 people were admitted to A&E in the Lothians, a very small increase on the week before. Just over 85 per cent of those in the Lothians were seen within four hours.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde saw 6,549 admissions, with 90 per cent seen within four hours.

In the first month of the Covid-19 pandemic, when Scotland was put into lockdown, A&E patient numbers plummeted to a record low of 11,059.

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Attendances gradually increased to a summer high of 24,050 in mid-August, before dropping back below 16,000 in January during the second wave of Covid-19 when restrictions were at their strictest.

But with restrictions easing and Scotland returning to some level of normality, numbers at A&E have been steadily rising recently, by around five per cent most weeks.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine has warned as A&E departments see numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels, they must assess resources and prepare now for any future waves of the virus.

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