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6 December 2016, 10:35
Scotland's accident-and-emergency (A&E) departments failed to meet a key waiting-times target in October, the latest figures show.
During the month, 93.9% of the 136,754 patients who attended were seen and either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, below the Scottish Government target for 95% of cases to be dealt with in that time.
A total of 742 (0.6%) patients spent more than eight hours in A&E while 148 (0.1%) waited for more than 12 hours.
The most recent statistics show that for the week ending November 27, 92.9% of patients were seen and admitted, transferred or discharged within the target time.
There were 139 cases where people were there for eight hours or more and 24 patients had to wait 12 hours or longer.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "As we have seen throughout the year, A&E figures will fluctuate week to week and we are monitoring this closely to ensure no-one is waiting longer than absolutely necessary in our emergency departments.
"We are working together with hospitals and boards to improve hospital processes to increase the percentage of patients discharged before noon, discharging patients at weekends at the same rate as on weekdays and strengthening community capacity to reduce delayed discharges.
"Nationally, our emergency departments are still maintaining a high level of performance, with Scotland's A&E waiting times consistently outperforming other areas of the UK for at least the past 19 months.
"We want to see long-term, sustainable change put in place in order to maintain high levels of performance during peaks and troughs, which is why we are committed to focus support in this key patient care priority.
"We have put record investment and increased levels of staffing into our hospitals to achieve this - including an extra #3 million announced last month for health boards to support their preparations for winter.''