Accident and emergency (A&E) departments in Scotland are continuing to miss waiting time targets, new data shows.
According to official figures for January, 91.8% of the 128,648 people who attended A&E were seen and dealt with within four hours, falling from 92.6% in December.
These figures fall short of the Scottish Government’s target for being admitted, transferred or discharged, which is 95%.
Hundreds waiting more than eight hours
Of the total number of A&E attendees, 1,480 (1.2%) patients waited more than eight hours to be dealt with in January.
Some 377 (0.3%) waited more than 12 hours.
The Liberal Democrats said January’s figures reflect the worst performance in 12 months.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, a Lib Dem health spokesman, says the Scottish Government need to put in place effective plans for winter to support health departments.
“These statistics confirm that more than 10,000 people waited longer than four hours to be seen during January,” the MSP for Edinburgh Western said.
“Staff and patients are consistently being let down by a Scottish Government failing to prepare properly for winter and failing to get to grips with the challenges facing our health service.”
But Health Secretary Shona Robison says performance for the year to January 2017 is the highest since year ending January 2013.
She added: “We know that a small number of sites are still facing particular challenges with demand and performance, and the Government is working closely with those health boards to provide any additional support required.”
Ms Robison says A&E figures fluctuate week to week and the Government is closely monitoring waiting times to ensure they are kept to a minimum, adding: “Our core A&Es have consistently out-performed those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – and have done for the last 22 consecutive months of published statistics.”
Ms Robison says there has been “record investment” into Scottish hospitals – including increased staff levels and a £3 million boost towards winter plans.
Source: Jersey Evening Post
Date Published: March 16, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown