A&E waiting times worst in nearly 3 years

19 Dec 2017

Miles Choice Landscape

Accident and emergency activity statistics released by ISD Scotland have shown that the percentage of patients seen within the four hour target is at its lowest level since March 2015.

The figures released today show that only 86.9 per cent of patients are being seen within the four hour timescale.

The Scottish Government’s own target is that 95 per cent of all patients should wait no longer than four hours in A&E departments.

In addition, the statistics from ISD Scotland show that NHS Lothian has the worst NHS board figures with only 77.3 per cent of patients seen within four hours.

And more worrying still, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was the worst of all departments at just 64.1 per cent.

Commenting on the figures Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said:

“SNP ministers have repeatedly boasted about A&E performances but these figures will give them nothing to crow about.

“The systematic failure of the Scottish Government to invest or support primary care has led to a predictable displacement of patient activity, driving up waiting times in emergency departments.

“The sad reality is that emergency departments cannot cope with this increase in patients, as well as seasonal pressures so patients are waiting longer, many of whom are in serious discomfort.

“We know from the recent RCN survey that many nurses are considering leaving the profession due to unacceptable demands and an inability to provide the care they want.

“So the situation will continue to deteriorate until the Scottish Government heeds our warnings and starts investing in primary care and supporting our GPs.”

And specifically on the situation in NHS Lothian;

“These waiting times are particularly bad and patients in Lothians will be very worried about the delays they face should they need emergency care over Christmas.

“However worrying these waiting times are, hopefully they are now accurate, and NHS Lothian can now act to reduce them as a matter of urgency.”