Waiting times in Scotland’s accident and emergency units have soared to a new high as 470 people spent more than 12 hours there in just one week.
Only 77.9 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour target for the first week of 2018.
Although down slightly from the previous week, when 78 per cent of patients were seen within four hours, the figure is well below the Scottish Government’s 95 per cent target of A&E patients being dealt with in this time.
Hospital A&E departments cared for 25,280 patients in the first week of the year.
Of those, 1,449 – 5.7 per cent of all patients – spent more than eight hours in A&E. This compared to 1,156 who had to wait this long in the last week of December 2017. The number of patients in A&E for more than 12 hours rose from 272 the previous week.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said hospitals were continuing to “feel the effect of the steep rise in flu cases”.
The flu rate in Scotland for the first week of 2018 was four times higher than the same week last year.