NHS Scotland: Number of people waiting 12 hours or more in A&E at record high

The number of people waiting more than 12 hours at Scotland's emergency departments is at its highest level, new figures show.

In the week up to August 21, some 1,287 people waited longer than half a day before being admitted or discharged at A&E.

This figure increased from 983 the week before and rises above the previous high of 1,190 in the week up to July 3.

The number of people waiting longer than eight hours was also at a record high, with 3,159 recording in the same week - up from 2,880 the week before.

Waits longer than 12 hours at A&E have reached an all-time high.

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The Scottish Government aims to have at least 95% of patients at A&E seen and admitted or discharged within four hours, but this figure sat at just 65% in the week of July 6, the second lowest on record.

Some 9,093 of the 26,017 people attending emergency departments waited longer than four hours, according to figures from Public Health Scotland.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf asked Scots to consider if they need to go to A&E before attending during winter, when pressure is expected to increase.

"Occupancy and staffing pressures remain high across emergency departments and continue to have an impact on the delivery of services," he said in a statement.

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"Covid has not gone away but despite this, almost two-thirds of patients are being seen within four hours of arrival.

"As we begin to enter the winter period, people should consider whether their condition is an emergency, such as a stroke, heart attack or major trauma, before going to A&E. Local GPs and pharmacies can be contacted during the day for non-critical care, NHS 24 is also available day or night on 111 for non-emergency inquiries.

"Through our Urgent and Unscheduled Care Collaborative programme we are investing £50 million to drive down waiting times, including further development of Flow Navigation Centres in every board to ensure rapid access to a clinician and scheduled appointments, where possible.

"This will avoid people waiting in A&E waiting rooms unnecessarily."

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Earlier this year the Health Secretary said that clinicians working in Scotland’s emergency departments are facing “the most pressured time”.

Mr Yousaf said the “cumulative impact” of the coronavirus pandemic is “undoubtedly causing real strain, real pressure, real challenge” for the health and social care system in Scotland.

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