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Thousands of A&E patients wait longer than a day for treatment

More than 7,300 people waited longer than 24 hours for emergency treatment in Scottish hospitals last year, with the longest wait more than 122 hours.

Public Health Scotland statistics obtained by Scottish Labour through freedom of information (FoI) revealed that 7,367 patients were in an emergency department for more than 24 hours before being discharged, admitted or transferred in 2023.

The longest wait in A&E last year occurred at NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s University Hospital Crosshouse, where a patient waited more than 122 hours, or the equivalent of five days. Waits of more than 88 hours were recorded in NHS Borders, and 72 hours in NHS Lanarkshire.

Dame Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman, has demanded action from Neil Gray, the health secretary.

“Scotland’s A&E departments are in the grip of a deadly crisis, with lives being put on the line day in and day out,” she said. “That some people have waited days — even a working week — to be seen is dangerous and disgraceful.

“Hard-pressed A&E staff are working tirelessly to look after patients, but SNP mismanagement has created a perfect storm in our hospitals. Neil Gray has inherited an NHS in deadly disarray from his colleagues.

“It’s time for action to be taken now to bolster A&E departments by tackling delayed discharges and investing in primary care to avoid putting further pressure on hospital services.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 11 March 2024


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