A&E Waiting-Time Target Missed In Final Week Of Jan

Accident-and-emergency (A&E) departments have again missed a key waiting-time target, with almost one in 10 patients having to wait more than four hours.

Figures from the final week of January showed that across Scotland 90.4% of cases were dealt with in the target time while at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh one in five (20.6%) spent more than four hours in A&E.

Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride ,South Lanarkshire, and Glasgow Royal Infirmary did slightly better, with 80.5% and 81.6% of patients respectively being seen and then subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The Scottish Government's interim target is for 95% of A&E cases to be dealt with in this time and although the NHS failed to achieve this in the week ending January 31, performance against the target was up from 84.1% on the same time in 2015.

Over the 10-week period to the end of January, 93% of patients in emergency departments were seen in four hours or less, with the Scottish Government highlighting this as the best performance at this time of year since 2011.

A total of 24,784 people attended A&E departments in the week up to January 31.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "Today's figures show an increase in performance during the same week of 2015, which is testament to the dedication of staff working right across the NHS.''

She said that while winter pressures had ``clearly impacted'' on A&E departments, waiting times have ``consistently been better'' than 2015.

Fourteen of the 30 hospitals where performance is monitored failed to meet the 95% target while half of the 14 regional health boards missed it.

Ms Robison said: "Winter brings additional pressures and we know performance can fluctuate from week to week and also from hospital to hospital. The extra demands of winter have clearly impacted on performance during the week of these statistics.

"However, it is also true that A&E waiting times have consistently been better than last year."

She stressed: ``We have the strong fundamentals in place, record investment and increased staffing to help meet demand throughout the year, and in particular through the winter period.

"We are also working closely with health boards to minimise any dips in performance and ensure there is a quick recovery.

"Nationally, our core accident and emergency waiting times have been better than elsewhere in the UK for the last nine months of published data from March to November 2015.''

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