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Scotland's A&E crisis: Waits of 12 hours now a daily occurrence amid winter fears

Staff at accident and emergency departments across Scotland have expressed “deep concern” at the daily “excessively long waiting times” that are forcing a record number of patients to wait more than 12 hours, according to a leading NHS consultant.

Dr John-Paul Loughrey, vice-chair of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland national board, warned that while such long waits were once regarded as “never events,” they are now daily occurrences.

Amid fears the delays will spike significantly over the winter months, especially with another wave of Covid-19 expected, Dr Loughrey said staff were already “burned out,” “exhausted,” and “overwhelmed with a system facing increasing strain.”

The latest weekly data on A&E treatment shows that in the week ending 2 October, the number of patients waiting more than 12 hours had soared by 45% week-on-week.

“There is deep concern among staff around the excessively long waiting times,” Dr Loughrey said. “The weekly data that show significant increases in long waits translates to real patients on the ground or in the community who are seeking urgent and emergency care.

“The system is failing them. We know that long waiting times are associated with patient harm and even death. Staff face moral injury daily, but they are working incredibly hard and doing all they can to minimise this harm to patients.”

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Source: The Scotsman, 16 October 2022


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