8 January 2019

Over 143,000 people waited too long at A&E in 2018, new figures released today reveal.

Data published by ISD Scotland reveals that 143,038 people waited more than 4 hours at Accident and Emergency last year, with 14,509 waiting over 8 hours and 2,908 waiting over 12 hours.

These figures are an increase on 2017, which saw 105,748 people waiting longer than the 4 hours, including 10,020 people waiting over 8 hours and 1,817 over 12 hours.

The statistics show that compared to 2017, there was a 35.3 per cent increase in the number waiting longer than the waiting over 4 hours target, a 44.8 per cent increase in the number waiting over 8 hours and a 60 per cent increase in the number waiting over 12 hours, despite there only being a 1.4 per cent increase in the number of people attending A&E.

Scottish Labour said the figures evidenced the stress our health service is under, with overworked staff facing crowded A&E departments because of mismanagement elsewhere in the health service – such as staffing vacancies in social care and primary care.

Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Monica Lennon said:

“Scottish Labour has been concerned about the pressures on our NHS for some time and these staggering figures expose the scale of the challenge health staff face in delivering patient care and how badly they have been let down by years of SNP mismanagement of our NHS.

“A&E is the front door of the hospital, and the pulse check of our NHS as a whole.

"Increasing numbers of people waiting too long at A&E reveals unacceptable pressure in other parts of our health service such as in social care and primary care.

“We already know that staff do not feel they are getting enough support and that the level of unfilled health posts is unsustainable.

“Ministers set the health service targets for staff to hit and then do not deliver the support and resources needed.

"It simply isn’t good enough.”

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