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A&E performance improves

Published: 26 Jan 2016 10:29

Weekly figures published.

Performance in Scotland's core A&E departments improved during the week ending January 17 with 91.5 per cent of patients being seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

Over a 10-week period to January 17, the national combined four hour performance rate was 93.4 per cent - five percentage points higher than the equivalent period last year. This is the strongest position Scotland has seen at this time of year since 2011.

January is a time of increased pressure on the NHS but weekly performance is up 3.2 percentage points on the previous week, and 3.6 percentage points compared to the same week last year.

There has also been a 58 per cent reduction in patients spending over eight hours in the department compared to this time last year. For 12 hours, the reduction is 60 per cent.

Health Secretary Shona Robison welcomed today's figures and thanked NHS staff for their continued commitment during the demanding winter period.

Ms Robison said:

"We know that at the start of the year there is substantial additional pressure on our NHS, however, there are signs of recovery in this week's performance with an improvement of more than three percentage points during the week ending January 17.

"Throughout the winter period, A&E performance has remained higher than the equivalent week last year, which is testament to the hard work of staff across the NHS. We have worked closely with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine to embed improvements and it is encouraging that the college themselves feel all aspects of emergency care are better than last year.

"However, A&E performance can fluctuate, not only from week to week, but also from hospital to hospital, particularly at this time of year and there is still clearly more work to be done to build on and retain performance across the whole country.

"While we are seeing improved performance at most of our A&Es, the focus is now on supporting boards and hardworking staff to ease pressure across the system. We have invested some £10.7 million to help cope with extra winter demand and we have been providing expert support for boards where required.

"To meet additional demand, all health boards have winter resilience plans in place, which include increasing bed capacity and work to reduce delays in discharging patients from hospital.

"Over the past year we have rolled out six essential actions for unscheduled care, which aim to minimise long waits in A&E and assessment units by improving patient flow throughout all areas of the hospital and community."

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available on the ISD Scotland website:

Weekly A&E waiting time figures:

The publication of weekly A&E waiting time statistics for the week ending January 17, covers the emergency departments in Scotland which provide a 24 hour emergency medicine consultant led service.

The statistics relate to patients who were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within 4, 8 and 12 hours.

The figures are also available on the NHS Performs website:

Also published today is information on patient pathways through A&E. More information on this quarterly publication is available here: