By Democrat reporter

Scottish Labour has blasted Humza Yousaf’s ‘record of failure’ as A&E performance is at its lowest level since January and amongst the worst it has ever been.

For the week ending 19 March 2023, a meagre 62.9% of ED attendances were seen and admitted, transferred, or discharged within the four-hour standard.

A shocking 3,344 patients languished in A&E for more than 8 hours before being admitted, transferred, or discharged, and a further 1,382 people were left waiting in pain for more than 12 hours in an emergency department

This is the worst level of A&E performance since January and amongst the worst ever.

Scottish Labour Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie, right,  said: “Mr Yousaf will take on the role as First Minister, leaving an abysmal record of failure in his wake.

“Since he took over as Health Secretary, Mr Yousaf has failed on every metric he set himself. He failed to get a grip on A&E, cancer wait times, delayed discharge, or the 1 in 7 Scots stuck on waiting lists.

“His inability to handle the crisis in our NHS has dominated his time as Health Secretary, and this shameful record will follow him into his next job.

“I sincerely hope that whoever takes over this role will take action immediately to end the crisis facing our NHS for good. They cannot surely do a worse job than Humza Yousaf, who was the worst Health Secretary in the history of devolution.”

Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP, left, said: “These woeful figures are a humiliation for Humza Yousaf on the day that he’s promoted to First Minister in spite of his disastrous and failed tenure as health secretary.

“We’re well into spring and yet these A&E waiting times are the worst recorded since the peak winter pressures at the turn of the year.

“It’s totally unacceptable that almost 1,400 patients had to wait more than 12 hours to be seen in the space of a week, as these waits inevitably lead to needless deaths.

“These figures are the product of years of dire workforce planning by successive SNP health secretaries – which has left emergency wards dangerously understaffed with burnt out doctors and nurses – as well as Humza Yousaf’s flimsy recovery plans.

“A fully-focused Humza Yousaf was bad enough for Scotland’s NHS, but a half-focused one, preoccupied by the SNP leadership election, has meant things getting even worse in our emergency wards at a time when they ought to be getting better.

“One of his first priorities as First Minister must be to belatedly get on top of the NHS crisis he presided over as health secretary.”

The new figures show that only 62.9% of patients were seen across Scotland within the 4 hour target (the lowest since early January), and waits deteriorating at hospitals across the Scotland.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, right,  said Humza Yousaf’s parting gift as health secretary was just more misery for patients waiting at A&E. 

Since becoming health secretary in May 2021, Humza Yousaf’s watch has seen  the number waiting over 4 hours increase by 171%;  the number waiting over 8 hours increase by 706%, and the number waiting over 12 hours increase by 1,123%

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:  “On the day he finishes his time as health secretary Humza Yousaf has a final parting gift for patients across Scotland: more misery and long waits at A&E.

“These new statistics should serve as a strong reminder to Humza Yousaf that though he may no longer be health secretary after today, the crisis in our NHS must remain at the very top of his in tray.

“Humza Yousaf certainly cannot continue to oppose our constructive proposals such as an urgent inquiry into the hundreds of avoidable deaths linked to the emergency care crisis, a burnout prevention strategy and a health and social care staff assembly.

“Thousands of patients have been left to wait for hours on end in our A&E departments, yet the first thing Humza Yousaf wanted to do was ask the UK government for a referendum on breaking up the UK. Patients and staff alike are being taken for granted by a party who just simply does not share their concerns and priorities.”

During week ending 19 March 2023:

  • There were 25,160 attendances at Emergency Departments in NHSScotland.
  • 62.9% of ED attendances were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours.
  • 3,344 patients spent more than 8 hours in an Emergency Department.
  • 1,382 patients spent more than 12 hours in an Emergency Department.
  • There were 16,856 deaths between 1 October and 31 December 2022 – 9.3 percent above the five year average.  

    These shocking statistics follow attempts by Humza Yousaf to defend his record as Health Secretary during SNP leadership debates.

    Labour said these figures are the “heartbreaking reality” of Humza Yousaf’s time as Health Secretary.  

    Jackie Baillie added: “The numbers speak for themselves – the crisis in our NHS is costing lives.  These are not mere numbers – these are people’s mothers, fathers and children.  This is the heartbreaking reality of Humza Yousaf’s record as Health Secretary.

    “The thousands of Scots who have lost loved ones due to Mr Yousaf’s disastrous running of the NHS will be looking on in horror as he gets the top job.

    “We desperately need to get our NHS back on track before any more lives are needlessly lost and he needs to make the NHS a priority now that he is First Minister.”

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