The number of people waiting at least four hours to be seen in A&E has reached its highest level since January, according to new figures.

Statistics released by Public Health Scotland show 10,019 people waited in emergency departments across the country for more than four hours in the week leading up to June 23.

It’s the first time since January 7 this year that the figure rose about 10,000 and is a jump of almost 1,000 people from the previous week when the number waiting was 9,193.

The proportion of those seen within four hours fell from 65.9% to 63.7% and leaves them well short of the Scottish Government’s targets for patients at A&E.

READ MORE: 'It was a total shock': First as Lothian couple welcome 'extremely rare' quadruplets

They aim to ensure 95% of people are seen and then discharged, admitted or transferred within four hours of arriving.

The number of people waiting more than eight hours has also risen from 10.8% to 13.4% of people, while 6% of those arriving at A&E are needing to wait more than 12 hours.

Health secretary Neil Gray said: “The pressures being felt by our A&E departments are not unique to Scotland, with similar challenges being felt by emergency departments throughout the UK.

“Our hospitals are reporting sustained pressures driven by high levels of occupancy and delayed discharge associated with high numbers of patients who are acutely unwell.

“A&E performance is impacted by pressures from across the wider health and social care system which is why our Unscheduled Care Collaborative Programme is taking a whole system approach as we work with Health Boards to deliver sustained improvements.”

But further figures released by PHS showed some signs of positivity, with May showing the highest proportion of patients seen within four hours since August last year.

In May, 70.8% were seen within the target time, a jump from 67.4% the month before.

Amid a sharp increase in the number of attendances – up from 130,026 to 143,645 – the number of people seen within the goal stood at 101,769, the highest since August 2021.