A&E target missed again as winter pressures continue

27 February 2018, 13:10 | Updated: 27 February 2018, 13:17

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Scotland's accident and emergency (A&E) departments are still falling below a key waiting time target as winter pressures continue.

The latest figures show that of the 25,159 people who attended emergency departments in the seven days ending February 18, 89.1% were seen and either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The figure is below the Scottish Government's target for 95% to be dealt with in that time.

It is also slightly down on the 89.3% achieved in the previous week and 93.1% in the comparable week last year.

A total of 201 (0.8%) patients spent more than 8 hours in A&E while 31 (0.1%) waited for longer than 12 hours.

The poorest performing health board was NHS Lothian (82.6%) followed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (85.6%).

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh was the site with the lowest compliance against the target at 75.5%, followed by the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow (81.7%).

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "Winter pressures are still having a significant impact and these weekly fluctuations will continue.

"A&E departments across Scotland have experienced their busiest winter in a decade, with high numbers of patients coming in with complex health needs.

"We are continuing to work with boards to focus on improving patient flow, ensuring that once people arrive into A&E, they can be admitted or transferred in a timely way.

"It's reassuring that despite these pressures, we continue to see almost nine out of ten patients admitted, discharged or transferred within four hours. This is testament to the continued hard work of healthcare staff right across Scotland."

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP added: "Far too many patients are still not being seen in time.

"One week the Scottish Government blame snow and ice, the next a flu outbreak. While these did pose particular challenges, the fact of the matter is that week-in week-out performance against the A&E target is down on the year before.

"NHS staff are working incredibly hard but they're being let down by a Scottish Government which is failing to give them the resources they need to get on with the job."