A&E wait times at Scotland's biggest hospital 'worst on record'

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital reported that just 31.1% of patients were seen within the four hour target set by the Scottish Government.

A&E wait times at Scotland’s biggest hospital the Queen Elizabeth in Glasgow ‘worst on record’ STV News

Scotland’s largest hospital has recorded its worst ever emergency department waiting times.

The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital reported that just 31.1% of patients were seen within the four hour target set by the Scottish Government in the first week of the year.

The latest figures, published by Public Health Scotland, show performance in accident and emergency departments across the country hit the lowest since December 2022.

The Scottish Government’s target is for 95% of those attending in A&E to be dealt with within four hours.

At the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, 42.1% of people were seen within the target time. At the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the figure was 47.4%.

The figures come amid a “very challenging” winter for the health service, health secretary Michael Matheson said.

Across Scotland, an average of only 59.4% of people who attended A&E in the week ending January 7 were seen, admitted, discharged or transferred within the target time of four hours.


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The figure represents a drop from 60.8% the previous week. 

Out of 24,583 unplanned A&E attendances, 18.1% of people spent more than eight hours in the department while 9% spent more than 12 hours.

At NHS Forth Valley patients attending Forth Valley Royal Hospital saw longer waiting times with only 39.7% being seen within four hours.

NHS Lanarkshire reported only 44% were seen within target at University Hospital Hairmyres and 47.6% at University Hospital Monklands.

NHS Grampian reported that 44.1% were seen within the four-hour window at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Similarly, NHS Lothian reported that only 47.7% were seen on time at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Matheson said on Monday that services are experiencing “peak winter demand”.

During a visit to the Royal Alexandra, he said: “There is no doubt the situation remains very challenging so I am extremely grateful to all our highly skilled and committed NHS and social care staff for their continued hard work and dedication.”

He added that Scots “have really played their part so far” by considering if their condition is bad enough to warrant going to A&E.

“To help relieve pressure on services it’s vital everyone continues to do that,” he added.

“Local GPs and pharmacies can be contacted during the day for non-critical care, NHS 24 is also available on 111 for non-emergencies, and the NHS Inform website is an invaluable resource.”

Opposition MPs have accused the SNP of allowing the crisis in emergency care spiral to “new levels of chaos”.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said their analysis of A&E waiting times showed that three of the worst 10 wait times occurred in the last two months of 2023.

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