20k patients wait over 4 hours at Queen Elizabeth A&E

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital opened in May 2015. Picture: Emma Mitchell
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital opened in May 2015. Picture: Emma Mitchell
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Almost 20,000 patients have waited over four hours for treatment at the NHS’s flagship Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) since it opened in May 2015.

Analysis of official figures conduced by the Liberal Democrats found that 19,577 out of 159,123 patients attending A&E have waited more than four hours.

That equates to an average performance rate of just 87.7 per cent when it comes to patients being treated within four hours against the against the 95 per cent target.

QEUH only managed to hit the target during two weeks out of 92. Those were the weeks ending 6 December 2015 and 3 July 2016. The worst week recorded came last month when the week ending 8 January saw 465 patients wait more than four hours (25.2 per cent of attendances).

Lib Dem health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton expressed alarm at the statistics and warned the long waits had an impact elsewhere in the health service.

“If you’re a potential patient in Glasgow this new analysis reveals a real horror story,” Mr Cole-Hamilton said. “Some 20,000 patients have now waited long periods in A&E since the flagship QEUH opened.

“It confirms that, for almost two years, SNP ministers and health bosses have been utterly unable to get a grip of the situation there.

“We were told they would be ‘consistently delivering’ against the A&E target by last spring. In fact, they are consistently underperforming. Their interventions to date evidently haven’t worked and the situation is getting worse

“There is a direct link between the delays in A&E and bed blocking. Recently we uncovered the extent of how long delayed discharges have been and this blockage is having a major impact on front line services.

Costing £842 million, Glasgow’s QEUH is one of the largest hospitals in the UK and was built on the basis that it would transform health care in Scotland’s biggest city.

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Performance figures for emergency departments, by their nature, will always fluctuate on a day to daybasis.

“However, the majority of patients were seen, assessed, treated and either admitted or discharge within the four hour target. We apologise to those patients who waited longer than this. However, medical attention will always be clinically prioritised.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “A&E in Scotland is the best performing in the UK by a considerable margin.”