WAITING times in Scotland’s A&Es have slumped again, with the number of patients waiting more than four, eight and 12 hours all up on last week. 

According to the figures from Public Health Scotland, in the week ending March 12, less than two-thirds of people, just 64.7 per cent, presenting at casualty were admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours. 

That’s down from 69% the previous week, and far below the Scottish Government’s target of 95%.

The Tories said the "desperate figures give lie to the theory that Scotland’s A&E wards are recovering from the peak winter pressures on the NHS."


At Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary, just 42.2% of patients were seen on time.  Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary fared little better, with only 44.5% and 44.6% seen within the target time. 

The statistics also show 2,585 patients waited more than eight hours, up from 2,300 while 1,030 needed to wait more twelve hours, up from 916.

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Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “These desperate figures give lie to the theory that Scotland’s A&E wards are recovering from the peak winter pressures on the NHS.

“We’re into spring and yet waiting times have got sharply worse from an already unacceptable position – meaning that even more lives will be needlessly lost.

“These figures are a damning indictment on Humza Yousaf – who’s more focused on his leadership ambitions than his day job. 

“They are also the product of the dire workforce planning by a succession of SNP health secretaries, which has left our A&E wards dangerously under-staffed.

 “Dedicated yet overstretched frontline staff and suffering patients continue to be let down by an inept, distracted and feuding SNP government.”

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Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said patients were “being taken for granted” by the SNP.  

“Humza Yousaf and this SNP government have been telling us for years how their latest plan will finally be the plan that will right the ship in the NHS, but each one has failed.

“As the SNP leadership race comes to a close it is clear the ongoing crisis in Scotland's NHS will have to be at the top of the new first minister's in-tray."

“Patients wait for hours on end week after week, all the while the candidates to be our new first minister squabble over independence plans. They are being taken for granted by a party who just simply does not share their concerns and priorities.”

Mr Yousaf said: “While A&E performance has improved since the start of the year, pressure on services remains high and we will continue to see fluctuations in figures from week to week.

“There continues to be pressure across our health and social care system that is impacting on performance and I would like to thank all NHS staff for their continued exceptional efforts in the face of this pressure.

“We are increasing NHS 24 staffing to help cope with increased demand and are providing up to £8 million to boards to help alleviate pressure from delayed discharge.

“As part of our nationwide approach, patients who no longer need to be in hospital are being urgently reassessed and those clinically safe to be discharged will be safely moved home or to an interim placement in a care home – freeing up beds for those most in need.”