Hospital accident and emergency departments kept more than 100 patients waiting for more than 12 hours in one week, new figures have revealed.
Official NHS data shows in the week ending 3 February, a total of 102 patients had to wait longer than this to be either admitted, transferred or discharged.
That is almost double the 55 people who were kept in A&E for more than 12 hours the previous week.
The Scottish Government has set the target of having 95 per cent of A&E patients seen within four hours but the latest statistics show this was only achieved in 88.1 per cent of cases.
Over the course of the week, a total of 26,325 patients visited A&E for treatment, with 3,142 having to wait four hours or more – including 415 people who were there for more than eight hours.
Opposition politicians hit out at the Scottish Government.
Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon said: “NHS staff in our A&E departments work exceptionally hard and they are not receiving the support they need to see and treat all patients within the targets set by the Scottish Government.
“Behind these numbers are people waiting in pain for treatment longer than they were promised they would.
“It’s time the Scottish Government faced the facts and delivered the support our NHS needs.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Despite the best efforts of hard-working staff, patients are all too often waiting hours on end for treatment.
“Performance continues to slump and the A&E waiting time target hasn’t been achieved for more than 18 months.
“However, there is still no news from the Health Secretary on how and when she expects this target to be met again.”
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman stressed that “despite continued higher attendances, almost nine out of 10 patients are being seen and either admitted, discharged or transferred to another hospital within four hours”.
She said: “Scotland’s core A&E departments continue to be the best performing in the UK and have been for almost four years.
“However, there are areas where performance is still not good enough.
“We are ensuring health boards are supported in improving performance, backed with an additional £10 million this winter – on top of the £9m already allocated to support unscheduled care all year round.
“We have also seen a significant increase in the number of A&E consultants working in Scotland’s health service – and increase of 157 whole time equivalent posts since 2007,” she added.