A&E waiting times - your views online

Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary has recorded one of the worst accident and emergency waiting times in Scotland, with nearly two-thirds of patients waiting over four hours for treatment in the last week of November.
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Angela Astor: How many patients attended in time comparison with other A&E departments? How many have trauma teams that have to go out to attend incidents, leaving reduced staffing to cope? How many have to deal with people with serious mental health issues? How many patients can the department cope with at one time? How many beds are available for admissions – many are delayed because there are not enough adequate available beds mainly for the elderly to progress to? Is the hospital big enough to cope with the changes in population numbers since it was built? Only a few questions that need answered and situations looked at by those who monitor and give results or opinions before they know facts from the folk that deal with it day in day out.

Ann McCarron: Staff are doing the best they can. Constant criticism is not good for morale. And yes I have waited over four hours and was grateful when I was called.

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Ronnie Williams: My wife broke her wrist a week ago. I took her to the Royal A&E and was seen within ten minutes. She was kept in for the night to see the consultant at 8am. Then the wrist was X-rayed and realigned the next day by appointment. The staff were outstanding – and all in all it was a satisfactory experience. Well done NHS.

38.5 per cent of those arriving at the A&E department were treated within the four-hour target time38.5 per cent of those arriving at the A&E department were treated within the four-hour target time
38.5 per cent of those arriving at the A&E department were treated within the four-hour target time

Alan Amos: It's not the NHS staff that’s the problem as they do a fantastic job day after day. The problems seem to be with the management side of the NHS and it’s them and the government that need to get a grip.

Julie Aldred: Maybe if you didn't need an appointment for the minor injuries department now it would take the pressure off A&E a bit.

Douglas Sykes: I injured my ankle at work a few months ago. Called the non-emergency number. Was assessed over the phone and agreed I needed to get checked, probably X-rayed. I was in Musselburgh at the time and I asked if possible to go to the minor injuries at the Western (I could get a direct bus there, and it was also nearer my home) but did say I’d need a minimum of an hour to get there. I was given an appointment time which was perfect in terms of the time I’d need to get there. I was maybe 30 minutes late in being seen, no big deal. I got checked and X-rayed, and on my way home to rest in no time. The phoning is a very good idea – as soon as I arrived and gave my name at reception they knew who I was and why I was there. The nurse simply called up my details, including the information on the phone, so assessment was quick, the nurse didn't even have to ask me what happened, he already knew from the information over the phone. They knew an X-ray would probably be needed, so they had it ready. It took me longer to hobble along the corridor than it did for the X-ray technician to do her work. I was back in my house in north Edinburgh within five hours of making the first phone call from Musselburgh, and that was including bus travel. I hope I don't need to use their services again, but I certainly cannot fault any part of the service.

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Lorraine Blyth: Surely common sense indicates that if you’ve waited more than four hours then it was safe for you to do so. Maybe that you didn’t have to be in the emergency department in the first place. On the occasion (in the last 12 months) that my family needed A&E they were seen, triaged, diagnosed, and moved to the appropriate department for urgent treatment within three hours. If the public had better access to primary health care (GPs) right now then far fewer people would be putting the burden on emergency services.

Warren Burrows: Correct: the entire system is broken due to GP surgeries being almost impossible to contact, let alone actually see someone.

David Paul: What the critics forget too say is that the 38.5 per cent who got seen in the under four hours are the ones who probably really needed A&E in the first place. Many could have been seen by other health professionals instead.

Earl Cheffield: A lot of people need to be a bit more responsible for their own health and stop wasting A&E staff’s time so they can treat real emergency patients faster. No amount of money invested can fix the idiots that clog up the service unnecessarily.

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Ally Preston: I was in A&E in October and was seen within an hour of getting there even though it was really busy. It did take a long time to move me from there to a ward, but they still saw and treated me really quickly.