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12 May 2015, 11:09
Patient waiting times in accident and emergency departments have improved to their best level since the Scottish Government began publishing weekly performance figures but still fall short of the government's own target.
The Scottish Government has set an interim goal of treating 95% of people in four hours in advance of meeting the full target of 98%.
In the week ending May 3, 93.5% of people were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours at the 32 main A&E departments, up from 92.7% in the previous week.
The improvement was welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary today.
The figures show that 76 patients waited more than eight hours and three patients waited more than 12 hours.
Ms Sturgeon said: "Today's figures show that A&E performance across Scotland is continuing to improve.
"These weekly figures are the best we've had since we first started publishing them in March but we still have work to do to reach our targets and make sure that everyone in Scotland gets discharged or admitted within four hours.
"However, the improving figures are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of staff working at the frontline of our health service.''
Ms Sturgeon said that while weekly figures are likely to fluctuate, it is crucial that health boards sustain the improvements seen since the winter months.
"There is still much to do to ensure sustainability and to ensure health boards are in an optimum position heading into next winter,'' she added.
"However, I am confident that the hard work and dedication of staff to improve our performance will continue to pay off.''