Scotland’s A&E performances saw a slight improvement on the week ending April 24, with 70.2% of patients being seen within four hours, according to the latest figures.
The Scottish Government aims to ensure 95% of people who attend A&E are seen and subsequently discharged or admitted to hospital within four hours.
There were a total of 26,235 attendances at A&E services across the country during the seven-day period.
Of these attendees, 653 patients spent more than 12 hours in an A&E department, 1974 patients waited more than eight hours and 7828 waited more than four hours.
Meanwhile, figures for March showed there was an increase of nearly 20,000 people attending emergency departments in Scotland compared to the previous month.
Data for the whole of March showed there were 130,188 attendances at A&E services, compared to a figure of 110,196 for February.
Monthly performances appeared to be down on the previous month, with an increase in patients waiting to be seen within the eight and 12-hour measurements.
Of these patients, 4128 (3.3%) saw a waiting time of more than 12 hours – an increase of 1724 compared to February. Some 71.6% of attendances at A&E services were seen within the four-hour target – down from February’s figure of 74.2% and the lowest rate for 2022 so far – while 11,017 (8.7%) spent more than eight hours in an emergency department.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “These latest weekly figures show a further improvement in A&E performance, and follow recent changes allowing boards to safely de-escalate Covid-related infection and prevention control measures with the aim of easing patient flows.
“We are also continuing to enhance capacity for Hospital at Home, and a range of other services which allow people to be treated at home rather than in hospital.
“The latest monthly figures published show Scotland continues to have the best performing A&Es in the UK, outperforming those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for over six years.”
Scottish Conservative health spokesman, Dr Sandesh Gulhane, said: “There is still no end in sight to the horrendous A&E waiting times in Scotland – in fact, things are getting even worse. “All the Covid restrictions have been lifted and the NHS is apparently no longer on an emergency footing, and yet we have a new monthly record for the proportion of patients waiting four hours to be seen.
“This is completely unacceptable for patients, but it’s also really unfair on frontline staff who have been stretched beyond breaking point for months and feel responsible for a crisis that’s not of their making.”
Public Health Scotland figures also showed that 2109 (9.6%) of all planned operations in the month of March were cancelled the day before or on the day the patient was due to be treated.
Delayed discharges saw an increase in March, with 1836 – a rise of 8% compared to February’s figure of 1704.
Public Health Scotland said this was largely due to an increase in delays as a result of the infection control measures in place at hospital or in care homes.
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