Stable position as winter begins.
Health Secretary Shona Robison has thanked NHS staff for their hard work and commitment to drive down long A&E waits, which has put our NHS in a stable position as winter begins in earnest.
During the week ending December 6, 95.3 per cent of patients were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours at core, 24 hour, consultant-led A&E departments.
This is more than five percentage points higher than the same week last year, and 0.7 percentage points higher than the previous week's performance. Performance can fluctuate during the winter months as demands on the service increase.
Ms Robison said today's performance results could not have been achieved without the dedication of staff from across the NHS working together to bring waits at the front door of the hospital and delayed discharges down.
"It is very encouraging, as winter begins, that we're in a relatively stable position with 95.3 per cent of patients being seen within four hours at our core A&Es.
"This is testament to our hardworking NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to drive down long waits. Performance is more than five percentage points higher than the same week last year, giving us a stronger foundation ahead of the festive season than last year.
"The latest monthly A&E performance statistics show Scotland is in the strongest position across the UK as winter begins, being the only nation where A&E performance improved compared to the same time last year.
"Over the past year we've worked with the College of Emergency Medicine and health boards to roll out a range of actions to help minimise long waits by improving patient flow throughout all areas of the hospital and community.
"Meeting 95 per cent nationally has been achieved as a number of hospitals have steadily improved their performance in recent months. For example, today's statistics show the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital exceeding the interim 95 per cent target for the first time.
"Of course, we cannot forget that there is still lots of work to do. The winter months put additional demands on the health service and all health boards have confirmed they have resilience plans in place.
"Health Boards are striving to maintain this level of performance and continue to build on this progress, which will be supported through the additional investment of £10.7 million to help ease pressure on Scotland's NHS throughout the winter months. This is in addition to our winter guidance to health boards which issued two months earlier this year compared to previous years.
"We know that weekly performance figures can fluctuate over the winter months, but I want to see long-term, sustainable change put in place in order to maintain a high level of performance during peaks and troughs of demand, which is why I launched the six Essential Action Plan and invested over £30m to address delayed discharge patients - £100m over three years."
The full statistical publication is available on the ISD Scotland website: http://www.isdscotland.org/
Weekly A&E waiting time figures:
The publication of weekly A&E waiting time statistics for the week ending December 6, 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: http://www.nhsperforms.scot