Public Health Scotland statistics for the week ending July 24 show that of the 25,615 attendances at emergency departments, 1,064 patients faced waits of more than 12 hours. This was an increase of 901 people waiting for the same length of time in the previous week.
The Scottish Government’s target is to ensure 95 percent of those attending emergency departments are seen and subsequently discharged, transferred or admitted within four hours.
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Monthly data for June this year shows that of the 135,682 attendances at A&E services, just 71.3 percent of patients were dealt with within the four hour timescale.
In addition, some 10,945 people waited more than eight hours, while 3,937 waited longer than 12 hours.
This is a staggering increase as just 214 patients waited for more than 12 hours in June 2019.
Scottish Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane said that “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.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton criticised Ms Sturgeon for focussing on her “unwanted independence referendum and getting into spats with the UK Government”.
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He added: “These kinds of extreme wait times puts lives at risk.
“If this target cannot be met in the middle of summer, just imagine the chaos once winter comes.
“Yet despite this deepening crisis, the SNP/Green Government would rather spend their days talking about an unwanted independence referendum and getting into spats with the UK Government, rather than taking action to reduce waiting times.
“Patients deserve to be seen for treatment quickly and close to home, and staff should not be simply left to make do in a state of perpetual crisis.”
Research shows that the longer a patient is delayed in emergency departments, the higher the probability of an avoidable death within 30 days of admission.
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