Slight Fall In A&E Targets Figure

More than 2,000 people waited more than four hours in accident and emergency departments, the latest weekly figures showed, with almost 50 having to wait longer than 12 hours.

In the week ending Sunday May 17, 92% of patients in A&E were admitted, transferred or discharged within the four-hour target time - down from 93.3% the previous week.

It means the NHS in Scotland is still failing to achieve the Scottish Government's interim target of having 95% of patients seen in this time.

A&E departments dealt with a total of 25,780 patients in the week ending Sunday May 17, with 2,054 waiting more than four hours to be seen.

Of these, 212 patients had to wait for more than eight hours while 47 were in casualty for more than 12 hours.

In NHS Orkney 99% of all A&E patients were seen within the four-hour target time, but in NHS Ayrshire and Arran the proportion was 85.6%.

Meanwhile, in Scotland's largest health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 869 patients had to wait more than four hours, with 88.1% treated in less than the target time.

There were 43 patients who had to wait more that 12 hours in A&E in the NHS Lanarkshire area in the week ending May 17.

The figures were published by the Scottish Government at the same time as separate statistics showed fewer people were being delayed from leaving hospital.

The April census, a one-day snapshot of hospital delays, showed there were 646 people waiting more than three days to be discharged, down from 947 in October.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "I welcome today's reduction in delays in patients leaving hospital, with figures now at the lowest level in almost two years and never lower under the previous administration. This shows we are moving in the right direction to tackle delayed discharge.

"I have been very clear that this is a key priority for this Government, NHS health boards and local authorities going forward.

"There is still much more to do to drive these figures down further. This is why we have committed £100 million over the next three years to address the issue.

"The first £30 million tranche of this funding for 2015/16 is now available for health and social care partnerships, and we will continue to work closely with them in order to support the ongoing reduction in delays.

"Under this Government delayed discharge has fallen significantly, with a substantial reduction in the number of patients waiting over three days to be discharged.

"It is promising to see that at the April census, 12 local authorities had no delays over two weeks and 11 were in single figures.''

She added: "Reducing delayed discharge is first and foremost good for the patient, who will benefit from being treated at home, or in a homely setting. But it also eases pressure across the system, in particular in A&E, by freeing up beds.

"This is a whole-system approach and today's A&E performance figures show that performance is up almost six percentage points since weekly reporting began in March.''

Ms Robison continued: "While I do recognise that weekly performance will fluctuate, it is now crucial that, with ongoing support from the Scottish Government, health boards sustain the improvement seen since the winter and make further strides towards achieving the world-leading targets we have in place.

"To assist with this we recently allocated funding to health boards from our £50 million Unscheduled Care Fund and earlier this month launched a six-point plan to improve emergency unscheduled care.

"There is still much work to do on both A&E performance and delayed discharge.

"However, we have put record funding and staffing in place, and through the integration of health and social care we are committed to tackling these issues further.

"That means we have the strong foundations in place to ensure our NHS continues to deliver quick, high quality care for the people of Scotland.''

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