Over 500 patients in A&E for more than eight hours – latest figures

More than 500 patients spent more than eight hours in A&E in the first full week of February – with  139 patients there for 12 hours or more.

While the Scottish Government has set a target of having 95% of all those attending at hospital accident and emergency being  either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, the latest NHS figures showed this was only achieved for 85.8% of patients.

Of the 27,308 cases medics dealts with in the week ending February 10, a total of 3,887 spent more than the target time of four hours in A&E.

There were 528 patients who were there for more than eight hours, including 139 who were there for at least 12 hours.

  • 27,308 patients attended hospital accident and emergency departments in the week ending February 10 2019.
  • 3,887 took more than the target time of four hours to be either admitted, transferred or discharged.
  • 528 were in A&E for more than eight hours.
  • 139 were in A&E for more than 12 hours.

Opposition politicians said the latest accident and emergency waiting times figures should “set alarm bells ringing for Health Secretary Jeane Freeman”.

Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said: “NHS staff in our A&E departments work incredibly hard but they simply are not receiving the support they need to see and treat all patients within the targets set by the SNP Government.

“Cuts to out-of-hours services and a shortage of GPs means more people have to take themselves to A&E, putting more pressure on the service.”

She added: “People are being forced to wait in pain for treatment longer than they were promised they would have to. They need a government that faces the facts and delivers the support our NHS needs.”

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Our hardworking NHS staff are run off their feet. It’s no wonder that hundreds of patients are waiting for hours on end.

“It’s more than 18 months since this SNP Government hit their own A&E waiting time target. What’s more, there is still no news from the Health Secretary on how and when she expects this target to be met again.”

He stated: “The Health Secretary should ease the strain on A&E departments by boosting mental health, social care and GP services.”

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (right) (Andy Buchanan/PA)

Ms Freeman said: “Scotland’s core A&E departments continue to be the best performing in the UK and have been for almost four years.

“Our A&Es have experienced higher than average attendances in recent weeks, with attendances up more than 10% in the last week compared to the average of the equivalent weeks over the last three years.”

The Health Secretary added: “We are working closely with those health boards experiencing the greatest challenges to support recovery. This has been backed with an additional £10 million this winter – on top of the £9 million already allocated to support unscheduled care all year round.

“We will continue to drive improvements through our £850 million Waiting Times Improvement plan.”