Scotland records worst-ever A&E performance figures since records began

A total of 6,113 A&E patients were left waiting for more than four hours, according to the latest NHS Scotland statistics

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Scotland has recorded its worst-ever A&E performance figures since records began, with almost a quarter of patients waiting more than four hours to be seen.

Only 76% of the 25,461 patients attending Accident and Emergency departments across Scotland during the second week of August were admitted, transferred or discharged within the target time.

A total of 6,113 A&E patients were left waiting for more than four hours, according to the latest NHS Scotland statistics.

Of those, 1,050 waited longer than eight hours and 239 patients were left for more than 12 hours.

It is the second week in a row that compliance with the four-hour target has dropped to record low levels, following the previous week’s figure of 76.5%.

The Scottish Government’s target is for 95% of patients to wait no longer than four hours, although this has not been met since July 2020.

Across Scotland, NHS Forth Valley was once again the worst-performing health board, with 65.6% of the 1,167 patients seen within four hours – down from 74.7% the previous week.

It was followed by NHS Lanarkshire, which saw 67.8% of the 3,977 patients in the target time (down from 67.5% in the week ending August 8) and then NHS Borders with 69.1% (down from 73.7%).

Shetland’s health board was alone in hitting the 95% target, achieving 95.7% of patients admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

Scottish Labour deputy leader and health spokeswoman, Jackie Baillie, said: “A&E services are in crisis and the Health Secretary is still missing in action.

“For months now frontline NHS workers have been raising the alarm and the Health Secretary has simply failed to heed their calls.

“This A&E crisis is leading to thousands of Scots being denied the speedy and vital healthcare that they need.

“If the Health Secretary continues to turn a blind eye to this crisis then we face the possibility that lives will be lost.

“This cannot continue. Humza Yousaf risks losing control of our NHS with potentially disastrous results. He must act and act now.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “This is exasperating. Week after week, statistics show the pressure our health service is under.

“They show record-breaking waiting times. They show people waiting too long to get care and treatment. They show staff under unimaginable pressure, working in impossible conditions.

“And yet, the Health Secretary is conspicuously quiet. The NHS Recovery Plan remains nowhere to be seen. The Health Secretary needs to up his game.”

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Annie Wells MSP, said: “The situation with A&E waiting times is now at a critical point.

“Our NHS is facing its biggest challenge yet as they continue to feel the pressure of the pandemic and a backlog that is growing daily.

“Despite assurances and promises from the SNP Government, A&E waiting times are at the worst level in six years.

“Humza Yousaf is letting NHS staff and patients down by continuing to ignore this crisis. He must listen to those on the frontline, and act now to prevent a disaster in our NHS.

“Once again, the Scottish Conservatives stress the need for funds to be allocated that will support the NHS to bring down waiting times, led by clinicians who fully understand the challenges facing the NHS. This fund would alleviate the pressure on A&E services and support Scotland’s NHS to recover from the pandemic.”