HUMZA Yousaf’s last day as health secretary has seen another decline in A&E waits, with just 62.9 per cent of patients seen on time compared to 86.6% when he started the job.

The latest Public Health Scotland figures also show the number of patients enduring extreme waits has risen by up to 1100% since Mr Yousaf took over in the middle of the pandemic.

Opposition parties called the figures a humiliating verdict on his time in charge of the NHS.

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Mr Yousaf, who will be confirmed by MSPs as Scotland’s new First Minister later today, took on the health porfolio in the week ending 23 May 2021.

In that week, PHS reported 86.6% of A&E patients were seen within four hours, while 3,448 waited more than four hours, 415 more than eight hours and 113 more than 12 hours.

Last week, the number waiting more than four hours was 9,342 (up 170%), more than eight was 3,344 (up 700%) and more than 12 hours 1,382 (up 1120%).

The Herald:

All were up on the previous week - from 8,658 to 9,342, from 2,586 to 3,334, and from 1,030 to 1,382.

Attendance was 25,742 in Mr Yousaf’s starting week, but lower last week at 25,160.

The number of patients seen on time fell from 64.7 to 62.9% in the week ending March 19, the third fall in a row. It was more than 70% in the week ending January 22.

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 worst performing health board last week was NHS Forth Valley, where 45.3% of patients were seen on time, followed by NHS Fife (53.9%) and NHS Lanarkshire (54%).

Tory MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “These woeful figures are a humiliation for Humza Yousaf on the day that he’s promoted to First Minister in spite of his disastrous and failed tenure as health secretary.

“We’re well into spring and yet these A&E waiting times are the worst recorded since the peak winter pressures at the turn of the year.

“It’s totally unacceptable that almost 1,400 patients had to wait more than 12 hours to be seen in the space of a week, as these waits inevitably lead to needless deaths.

“These figures are the product of years of dire workforce planning by successive SNP health secretaries – which has left emergency wards dangerously understaffed with burnt out doctors and nurses – as well as Humza Yousaf’s flimsy recovery plans  

“A fully-focused Humza Yousaf was bad enough for Scotland’s NHS, but a half-focused one, preoccupied by the SNP leadership election, has meant things getting even worse in our emergency wards at a time when they ought to be getting better.

“One of his first priorities as First Minister must be to belatedly get on top of the NHS crisis he presided over as health secretary.”

This is the worst level of A&E performance since January and amongst the worst ever.

Scottish Labour deputy Jackie Baillie said: “Mr Yousaf will take on the role as First Minister, leaving an abysmal record of failure in his wake.

“Since he took over as Health Secretary, Mr Yousaf has failed on every metric he set himself.

"He failed to get a grip on A&E, cancer wait times, delayed discharge, or the 1 in 7 Scots stuck on waiting lists.

“His inability to handle the crisis in our NHS has dominated his time as Health Secretary, and this shameful record will follow him into his next job.

“I sincerely hope that whoever takes over this role will take action immediately to end the crisis facing our NHS for good. They cannot surely do a worse job than Humza Yousaf, who was the worst Health Secretary in the history of devolution.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “On the day he finishes his time as health secretary Humza Yousaf has a final parting gift for patients across Scotland: more misery and long waits at A&E.

“These new statistics should serve as a strong reminder to Humza Yousaf that though he may no longer be health secretary after today, the crisis in our NHS must remain at the very top of his in tray.

"Humza Yousaf certainly cannot continue to oppose our constructive proposals such as an urgent inquiry into the hundreds of avoidable deaths linked to the emergency care crisis, a burnout prevention strategy and a health and social care staff assembly.

“Thousands of patients have been left to wait for hours on end in our A&E departments, yet the first thing Humza Yousaf wanted to do was ask the UK government for a referendum on breaking up the UK.

"Patients and staff alike are being taken for granted by a party who just simply does not share their concerns and priorities.”