Public Health Scotland statistics for the week ending July 24 revealed that of the 25,615 attendances at emergency departments, 1,064 patients faced a staggering wait of more than half a day. This is a jump from the 901 people recorded waiting for the same length of time in the previous week. It comes despite the Scottish Government’s target aim to ensure 95 percent of those at emergency departments are seen and subsequently discharged or admitted within four hours.
Scottish Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane said “years of dreadful workforce planning” would see the lives of patients “needlessly lost” due to excess waits and “over-stretched” front line workers.
He said: “These appalling figures prove that the crisis in Scotland’s emergency wards is not just continuing, but getting even worse on Humza Yousaf’s watch.
“As the SNP Health Secretary wrings his hands, patients’ lives continue to be needlessly lost due to excess waits, and the morale of dedicated but over-stretched frontline staff is further sapped by their inability to meet the huge demands placed upon them.
“Years of dreadful workforce planning by the SNP has left our NHS under-staffed across the board – and nowhere more so than in A&E.”
He said the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf’s “flimsy” Covid recovery plan was not “fit for purpose” and warned of a crisis in the winter months.
Mr Gulhane added: “It’s completely unacceptable that in high summer – when our emergency wards are traditionally quieter – a record proportion of people are having to wait more than four hours to be seen. I dread to think how bad things will be in winter.
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Figures revealed just 65 percent of people – 8,955 – were attended to within this timeframe, which again saw a jump when compared to recent weeks, while some 2,798 patients waited for more than eight hours.
Monthly data for June also showed that of the 135,682 attendances at A&E services, just 71.3 percent were seen within the four-hour target – the worst on record for that measurement.
Some 10,945 people were not attended to for more than eight hours, while 3,937 waited longer than 12 hours.