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Five Scottish health boards miss A&E target but improvements over year hailed

Shona Robison - Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport
Shona Robison - Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport

Health Secretary Shona Robison said A&E performance this winter has been “consistently better” than last year, but she admitted there is “more to be done”.

The latest figures show that in the week ending February 21, 93.5% of the 24,719 patients attending the 30 “core” A&E departments across Scotland were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours – compared to the Scottish Government’s 95% interim target.

The figures are up by 3.5% on the previous week and 7.5% on the same week last year – the first time weekly figures were reported.

Five of Scotland’s health boards – Lothian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Ayrshire and Arran, Forth Valley, and Fife – failed to hit the target in the latest week reported.

Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary recorded the worst performance, with 84.9% of patients seen within four hours.

The rest of Scotland’s 14 health boards – Lanarkshire, Highland, Grampian, Borders, Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Dumfries and Galloway, and Tayside – met the 95% target, with Balfour Hospital in Orkney hitting 100%.

Ms Robison said: “We know that in winter A&E performance can fluctuate from week to week and also from hospital to hospital as pressure on the service increases. However, as we reach the one-year mark since weekly reporting began, it is promising that A&E waiting times this winter have consistently been better than last year.

“As the only part of the UK to publish figures on a weekly basis, we remain committed to providing an open and transparent health services for the people of Scotland.

“Today’s figures show an increase in performance on last week and on the same week of 2015, which is testament to the dedication of staff working right across the NHS.

“While performance has remained up on the same period as last year throughout this winter, we know there is still more to be done to retain and build on improved performance and cut waiting times even further.”

But Scottish Labour public services spokeswoman Jackie Baillie accused the Scottish Government of taking a “sticking plaster” approach to health.

She added: “Our NHS staff work incredibly hard but under the SNP they are undervalued, overworked and under intolerable pressure.

“The SNP Government set the targets and then don’t deliver the resources.”


 

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