A&E waiting times improve slightly in April from record low

A&E waiting times improve slightly in April from record low

Waiting times at Scotland’s A&E departments have improved slightly from a record low, but continued to fall well short of a government target.

In April, 72.1% of the 122,640 attendees were seen and subsequently admitted or discharged within four hours, according to Public Health Scotland, up from a record low of 71.6% in March.

However, the figure remains lower than the 95% target set for the Scottish Government.

Meanwhile, similar figures from the week up to May 29 showed just 69.6% of the 26,953 attendees were seen within the target time, down from 70.2%.

During that week, 818 people waited longer than 12 hours.

Some 2,315 people waited longer than eight hours to be seen and subsequently admitted or discharged, while 8,201 were waiting for more than eight hours.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said Scotland “continues to have the best performing A&Es in the UK”, adding: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to put pressure on hospitals and services, despite this more than two-thirds of patients are being seen in our A&E departments within the four-hour target.”

The spokesman continued: “We want people to get the right care in the right setting, and for many A&E will not be the most suitable place for their healthcare need.

“People should consider whether their condition is an emergency, such as a stroke, heart attack or major trauma, before going to A&E. Local GPs can be contacted during the day for non-critical care, as well as local pharmacies.”

Scottish Tory health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “The crisis in Scotland’s A&E wards is not just failing to ease, it’s actually still getting worse – and that’s with high summer approaching and Covid infections reducing.

“What a damning indictment of Humza Yousaf’s impotent leadership – and his flimsy Covid Recovery Plan.

“It’s completely unacceptable that more than 30% of patients are having to wait four hours or more to be seen – including more than 800 waiting at least half a day – because we know excess delays lead to avoidable deaths.

“The Health Secretary has been found wanting during month after month of dire emergency stats – and last week’s bid to reduce waiting times by asking patients to book scheduled urgent appointments smacked of desperation.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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