SNP accused of being ‘oblivious’ to crisis as A&E waiting times worsen again

MISSED waiting times in Scotland’s A&E wards have fallen back to their worst level since the start of the Covid pandemic.

New official NHS figures show only 78.7 per cent of patients were seen within four hours in the week ending August 1, down from 79.7% the previous week.

Labour called it a “full-blown crisis”.

The latest level is the same as the week ending July 18, which was then the worst figure since January 2018.

It means more than a fifth of all A&E patients have waited more than four hours for three consecutive weeks.

The target is for 95% of patients to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The worst performing health board was again NHS Lanarkshire, where only 70.4% of patients were seen within four hours in the week to August 1, although this was up on 66.2% the previous week.

The new figures also showed an increase in particularly lengthy waits, with the number of patients waiting more eight hours up from 808 to 861 last week, and the number waiting more than 12 hours increasing from 178 to 182.

The decline in standards came despite the number of attendances at A&E units falling from 26,080 to 25,538 last week.

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Scottish Tory health spokeswoman Annie Wells said Heath Secretrary Humza Yousaf appeared “oblivious to the crisis in our hospitals”.

The Glasgow MSP said:  “For the third week in a row, over a fifth of patients waited over four hours to be seen after arriving at accident and emergency.

“That is well below the SNP’s target of 95% of patients to be seen within four hours. That is a target the SNP have failed to hit for well over a year now, which is simply unacceptable.

 “The SNP promised to publish a NHS recovery plan within 100 days of the election, but that has completely failed to materialise. That is only letting down patients who are waiting on vital treatment and procedures as well as our heroic staff on the frontline.”

She went on: “More patients won’t be seen as quickly as possible without urgent action from SNP Ministers. The Scottish Conservatives will continue to push for a one-off £600 million investment in our health service, specifically designed to tackle waiting times.

“Humza Yousaf needs to wake-up and recognise the reality that hundreds of patients are waiting hours on end to be seen at accident and emergency departments. That is a trend that is currently threatening to spiral out of control.”

Scottish Labour health spokesperson Jackie Baillie added: “A&E services in Scotland are now in full-blown crisis.

“Hundreds of Scots are being left in pain and flagship hospitals are struggling under the strain.

“This crisis has been brewing for months but the SNP has still failed to deliver an NHS recovery plan to get services back on their feet.

“The time for talk is over. Humza Yousaf must take action now to stop so many Scots being failed on his watch.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992