Michael Matheson – leaving nearly a third of patients to languish in A&E for over four hours.

By Bill Heaney

Michael Matheson must ‘get a grip’ on the NHS crisis as figures remain dismal despite being under new leadership, Scottish Labour has said today.

For the week ending 16 April 2023, only 63.4% of emergency department attendees were admitted, transferred or discharged within the four-hour standard, leaving nearly a third of patients to languish in A&E for over four hours.

A shocking 2,702 patients were stuck in A&E for over 8 hours, and of them nearly 1,000 were left waiting for over 12 hours before being admitted, transferred or discharged.

Things were particularly bad in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where only 45.2% of patients were seen within the four-hour standard.

Scottish Labour Health spokesperson Jackie Baillie, left,  said: “The crisis facing our A&E has gone on for far too long and patients’ lives are being put at risk. These figures were the norm in the depth of winter but the problem is continuing and is now all year round.

“Michael Matheson has been left a disastrous mess by his predecessor, but now he must take every action available to get a grip on this chaos.

“The SNP may have other priorities this week, but they cannot lose sight of their promise to fix our NHS.

“Matheson must listen to the concerns of frontline staff and act now to take the necessary steps to recover our NHS, beginning by tackling the chaos in our A&E.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton, right,  said:  “This crisis in our A&E departments has been rumbling on for years and now spans multiple health secretaries.

“The last few weeks of flat-lining performance in our A&E departments shows that more of the same simply won’t cut it for the patients and staff.

“The SNP have been distracted by their obsession with breaking up the UK and by the crisis in their own party, but these figures ought to snap their attention back to where it really matters: the NHS.

“We need to see urgent action from Michael Matheson to resolve the crisis in our A&E departments. That should start by dropping his government’s opposition to 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.”

During week ending 16 April 2023:

There were 24,719 attendances at Emergency Departments in NHSScotland.

  • 63.4% of ED attendances were seen and resulted in a subsequent admission, transfer or discharge within 4 hours.
  • 2,702 patients spent more than 8 hours in an Emergency Department.
  • 911 patients spent more than 12 hours in an Emergency Department.

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