More than 7,300 waited over 24 hours at A&E in 2023, figures show

Public Health Scotland statistics revealed a patient waited more than 122 hours at Arran’s University Hospital Crosshouse.

More than 7,300 waited over 24 hours at A&E in 2023, figures show STV News

More than 7,300 patients waited more than a day in a Scottish A&E department last year before being treated, figures show.

Public Health Scotland statistics obtained by Scottish Labour through freedom of information (FOI) revealed 7,367 patients were in an emergency department for more than 24 hours before being discharged, admitted or transferred in 2023.

The longest wait in A&E last year occurred at NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s University Hospital Crosshouse, where a patient waited more than 122 hours, or the equivalent to five days in hospital.

Waits of more than 88 hours were recorded in NHS Borders, and 72 hours in NHS Lanarkshire.

Of the 14 health boards in Scotland, nine had waits of more than a day, with just Western Isles, Tayside, Shetland, Orkney and Lothian under that timeframe.

However, Public Health Scotland states some attendances recorded as more than 24 hours will be due to erroneous records that suggest longer waits than actually occurred.

The lengthy waits continued into the first weeks of 2024 revealed five health boards that provided figures had waits of longer than 24 hours.

NHS Highland, in the first few weeks of January this year, had the longest wait of 100 hours, followed by more than 60 in NHS Lanarkshire.

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman Dame Jackie Baillie has demanded action from Health Secretary Neil Gray, arguing the health service is in the grips of a “deadly crisis”.

She said: “Scotland’s A&E departments are in the grip of a deadly crisis, with lives being put on the line day in and day out.

“That some people have waited days – even a working week – to be seen is dangerous and disgraceful.

“Hard-pressed A&E staff are working tirelessly to look after patients, but SNP mismanagement has created a perfect storm in our hospitals.

“Neil Gray has inherited an NHS in deadly disarray from his colleagues.

“It’s time for action to be taken now to bolster A&E departments by tackling delayed discharges and investing in primary care to avoid putting further pressure on hospital services.”

The Scottish Government has been asked for comment.

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