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Scotland records worst A&E waiting times performance yet

The percentage of patients visiting A&E who are seen within four hours has hit a “terrifying” new low in Scotland, latest figures show, with ministers urged to “get a grip” on the growing crisis.

The figure has been declining since the summer amid high demand, staffing shortages and a lack of patient flow through hospitals.

In the week to 3 October, just 71.3% of patients were seen within four hours, a five percentage point drop on the previous week, according to a data published by Public Health Scotland. The figure is the lowest since records began in 2015, with the Scottish Government target set at 95%.

With 25,000 visits to A&E in that week, it means more than 7,000 patients waited longer than four hours. Some 1,782 people waited more than eight hours, while a record 591 patients waited longer than 12 hours.

Last week, Scotland’s Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, warned that Scotland’s NHS faces an “incredibly difficult winter” despite announcing a £300 million funding boost.

But opposition parties have now accused him of “overseeing a scandalous situation” and leaving A&E departments “beyond breaking point”.

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Source: The Scotsman, 12 October 2021


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