Fewer Scots were seen in A&E within the four-hour target at the beginning of July than at any point in the previous six months, new figures show.
Statistics released by Public Health Scotland reveal that just 81.6% of those who attended emergency departments were seen and subsequently admitted to hospital or discharged within the four-hour period.
The Scottish Government’s target is at least 95%.
The figure, for the week ending July 4, is the lowest since the week of December 22, when it fell to 79.8% in the wake of a massive spike in coronavirus cases which would force Scotland back into lockdown on Boxing Day.
Broken down by NHS board, the figures vary from 70.5% seen within four hours in NHS Lanarkshire to 97.9% in NHS Orkney – although the latter included just 146 attendances at A&E.
The new low comes as recent weeks have seen a sharp decline in the number of people attending emergency departments.
Numbers dropped from 28,588 in the week ending June 6 to 26,080 less than a month later.