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Almost half of A&E patients at Lanarkshire hospitals waited more than four hours

Almost half of all patients at Lanarkshire’s three A&E departments were forced to wait more than four hours to be seen by a medic.

Official statistics, published by Public Health Scotland, have shown that only 51.9 per cent of A&E patients were seen in under four hours in NHS Lanarkshire in the week ending September 11 – the second lowest rate in Scotland.

This means that, in just one week, almost 2000 patients waited more than four hours to be seen at an NHS Lanarkshire hospital.

Across Scotland, the figures for the week ending September 11 were the worst on record.

Scottish Labour MSP for Central Scotland, Mark Griffin, urged the Scottish Government to take meaningful action to address the growing crisis.

He said: “Across Scotland, patients are waiting longer than ever before to be seen at an A&E department – with statistics in NHS Lanarkshire consistently amongst the worst in the country.

“The latest figures are a new low and must act as a wake-up call to the Health Secretary and First Minister.

“We need meaningful action now to avoid a catastrophic winter crisis in our NHS.”

The target is for 95 per cent of patients to wait no longer than four hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer for A&E treatment.

It has not been met nationally since July 2020.

Conservative Central Scotland list MSP Meghan Gallacher said: “NHS Lanarkshire has consistently been one of the worst performing A&E departments in the country and the figures today are deeply concerning.

“The figures will be devastating for patients and those who are working in A&E departments across NHS Lanarkshire.

“It is completely unacceptable that at the height of summer, when things should be better in our A&E departments, that patients in NHS Lanarkshire are waiting so long to be seen.

“These ever-increasing delays only lead to needless excess deaths among patients in NHS Lanarkshire.

“As we head into winter, the SNP Health Secretary cannot allow this situation to get even worse for patients and dedicated staff. He must urgently rewrite his flimsy NHS Covid Recovery Plan which simply isn’t working.”

Across Scotland, just 63.5 per cent of patients were seen within four hours according to the latest Accident and Emergency waiting time figures from Public Health Scotland.

In response to the latest figures, Health Secretary Humza Yousaf blamed the “impact of the pandemic” and said that emergency departments “across the UK and globally” were under similar pressure.

He added: “Notwithstanding this, I am clear that the current level of performance is not acceptable, that is why I am determined to improve performance and am working closely with boards on a number of measures to reduce pressure on hospitals.

“This includes the national roll-out of our outpatient antimicrobial therapy service which allows patients to be treated at home or in the community which has already saved 45,000 bed days.

“This is funded through our £50 million unscheduled care collaborative programme which looks to drive down waiting times through a range of actions, including further development of Flow Navigation Centres in every board to ensure rapid access to a clinician and scheduled appointments, where possible.”

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