THE monthly waiting time performance in Scotland’s A&E departments has fallen to its worst level since the SNP came to power in 2007.

The latest data from Public Health Scotland showed another record low, with only 73.5 per cent of those attending casualty seen within the four hour target.

This compares to 76.1% in September and 96.6% when the SNP first entered government.

The figure has now fallen every month since April.

The target is for 95% of patients to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

It has not been met nationally since July 2020.

The Scottish Tories said the figures should “shame” SNP Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, especially as some of the delays would have led to “avoidable deaths”.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have also called for inquiry into such deaths.

HeraldScotland:

The SNP-Green Government recently called in the army to help deal with problems in the ambulance service caused by jammed A&E units.

Ministers say they are working to boost NHS funding and capacity as winter approaches.

However the recent arrival of the Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to put even more pressure on the health service at what is already its busiest time of year.

The number of people waiting more than eight hours to be seen in October was 8,181, or 6.8% of all patients, with 2,533 (2.1%) waiting more than 12 hours.

October saw record lows at a number of health boards: NHS Forth Valley only treating 61.6% of patients on time, followed by NHS Lanarkshire on 65% and NHS Lothian at 68%.

There was slightly better news on the weekly A&E performance, which rose in the week ending November 28 to 73.8% of patients seen on time.

This compared to 73.2% the previous week.

The number waiting more than eight hours was 1,282, while 423 waited more than half a day to be treated.

Tory MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “These unacceptable figures illustrate the scale of the crisis in Scotland’s NHS - and Humza Yousaf’s inability to tackle it.

“The fact that more than one in four patients are not being seen within the four-hour target set by the SNP Government should shame the Health Secretary, because it will lead to avoidable deaths.

“His flimsy NHS recovery plan is totally inadequate. Even with the wonderful assistance of UK Armed Forces and his knee-jerk attempt to divert patients from A&E to GP services, the Health Secretary has been unable to prevent the worst emergency waiting time figures since the SNP came to power.

“We must finally see leadership and an urgent plan from him to address this growing crisis in Scotland’s NHS.”  

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie added: "Looking at the state of services in Scotland, we can all only hope we don’t get sick this winter.

“Once again we are fighting to protect our NHS and save lives, but this crisis is of the government’s own making.

"We are headed towards disaster if the SNP keep failing to act."