A GROWING number of patients with broken hips are spending too long in A&E departments before admission to hospital.

The annual Scottish Hip Fracture Audit shows that only six in every 10 hip fracture patients seen in A&E departments in Scotland last year were admitted to hospital within the four hour target time.

That compares to eight in 10 during 2020.

Patients with hip fractures are usually frail and elderly, and at higher risk of complications resulting from surgery or their injury.

Only six in 10 hip fracture patients were admitted to hospital within four hours in 2021The median time in A&E in 2021 was 3.9 hours for hip fracture patients, up from 3 hours in 2017

Only six in 10 hip fracture patients were admitted to hospital within four hours in 2021Significantly more hip fracture patients spent five-plus hours in A&E in 2021 compared to previous years

Lengthy waits in A&E are associated with an increased risk of avoidable death within 30 days of admission to hospital.

The median length of stay in A&E for hip fracture patients was 3.9 hours in 2021, compared to three hours in 2017.

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It comes as the latest weekly figures for A&E activity show that fewer than 68 per cent of people attending emergency departments in the week ending August 7 were seen, treated, and subsequently admitted or discharged within four hours, well short of the 95% target.

A total of 916 patients spent over 12 hours in A&E

Compliance against the four-hour standard has been below 80% since summer 2021 amid bed shortages and staffing pressures.

Only six in 10 hip fracture patients were admitted to hospital within four hours in 2021Source: Public Health Scotland

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Occupancy and staffing pressures remain high and continue to impact the delivery of emergency services.

"Covid has not gone away but despite this, more than two-thirds of patients are being seen within four hours of arrival.

“We are investing £50 million to drive down waiting times through our Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative programme, including further development of Flow Navigation Centres in every board which aim to ensure rapid access to a clinician and scheduled appointments, where possible.

"This will avoid people waiting in A&E waiting rooms unnecessarily."