Covid Scotland: A&E waiting times improve slightly after record lows

Accident-and-emergency waiting times have improved slightly on the previous week’s record-bad performance, the latest NHS Scotland figures have shown.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 12:47 pm

But with 28.6 per cent of patients waiting longer than the four-hour target time to be seen during the last week of October, it is still the fifth-worst performance on record.

Of the 6,896 patients who were not admitted, transferred or discharged from an accident emergency department within four hours, 1,592 waited longer than eight hours and 483 people had waits of more than 12 hours.

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The A&E at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary is among those feeling the strain. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The 71.4 per cent of patients seen within the Scottish Government’s target time is the highest since the week ending September 26 and up from the previous week’s 69.6 per cent.

NHS Forth Valley was the worst-performing health board once again, with almost half (48.9 per cent) of patients not seen within four hours.

It is followed by NHS Lothian, with 35.2 per cent of patients waiting beyond the target time, NHS Lanarkshire (30.4 per cent) and NHS Fife (30 per cent).

Only NHS Western Isles (97.7 per cent) met the Government’s target of 95 per cent of patients being seen within four hours – a target not met across the country since July last year.

The A&E department at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital

The latest figures published by Public Health Scotland also show there were 24,131 attendances during the week – the second-lowest since the first week of May.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman, Dr Sandesh Gulhane, said: “These predictably grim figures show that the SNP Government is still failing to get to grips with the intolerable strain on Scotland’s A&E wards.

“This latest snapshot reveals that almost 1,600 patients waited more than eight hours to be seen by emergency staff, and almost 500 spent more than 12 hours waiting for assessment.

“That’s completely unacceptable and the blame lies squarely with Humza Yousaf, who has no workable solutions to easing the strain on over-worked, under-resourced frontline staff.

“Last week’s SNP announcement that A&E patients would be redirected – where possible – to GP services is no answer to the problem.

“It will merely shift patients to another part of the NHS that is struggling to meet the demands on it.

“Humza Yousaf must do more than tinker at the edges if he’s ever to get a grip of this crisis.”