Bottom of the table
Lanarkshire lags in list
The health board that took over the running of services in Rutherglen and Cambuslang this year is bottom of the table for waiting time in Scotland.
One in 10 patients and A&E services in NHS Lanarkshire hospitals can expect to wait more than four hours to be seen by a doctor.
Figures show that between March and June this year, only 89.5 per cent of patients would be seen and admitted, transferred or discharged within the timeframe.
During May, the figure was as low as 87.5 per cent.
NHS Lanarkshire was one of 12 Scottish health boards who failed to meet the 98 per cent target for those months.
Rutherglen MSP, James Kelly, said patients were being failed on waiting times. He said: “Patients across Lanarkshire are being let down by missed targets. We know how important it is that A&E departments can respond as soon as possible, but these statistics show that this is not happening.
“But the blame cannot be placed squarely at the door of NHS Lanarkshire – health boards across the country are failing to meet these targets. It simply isn’t good enough. Our NHS deserves better than this.
“That is why Scottish Labour believes it is time for a fundamental review of our NHS, that will make sure our resources are being put in the places where they can not only protect, but to strengthen our NHS for decades to come.”
An NHS Lanarkshire spokesperson said: “Our priority is always to ensure the safety of our patients and to provide effective care and treatment based on clinical priority. Our staff work hard to avoid delays and we regret any occasion where this occurs.
“All three emergency departments within Lanarkshire have experienced pressures. Clinical staff and managers have been working together at board and site level to reduce waiting times and we have developed a range of actions to improve A&E waiting times performance.
“If it looks like a patient will experience a lengthy wait for a hospital bed, then care will be provided in beds in appropriate clinical areas with access to toilet facilities and full hospital care including meals.”
New health minister, Shona Robison, conceded more had to be done to bring down waiting times, she defended the Scottish Government’s record on the NHS: “Like A&E departments right across the UK, Scotland’s NHS is facing the challenge of treating more people with more complex health issues, however we are continuing to work to support health boards to meet the 95 per cent standard as quickly as possible.
“I am clear that no patient should wait unnecessarily for treatment and, as the new Health Secretary, one of my key priorities will be to focus on improving the flow through hospitals. This will not only reduce the number of patients waiting to be discharged, but also help to reduce pressure on our frontline services like A&E and planned operations.”