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The variety of individuals ready greater than 4 hours in Scotland’s accident and emergency items reached report excessive ranges within the final week of the yr.

The newest weekly figures present that simply 78% of sufferers throughout Scotland have been seen throughout the goal time.

This was properly beneath the Scottish authorities’s 95% goal, and the bottom for the reason that weekly figures started in February 2015.

In the identical week in 2016 there have been 92.5% handled inside 4 hours.

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Well being Secretary Shona Robison mentioned it had been a “very difficult” time

Well being Secretary Shona Robison instructed BBC Scotland the most recent figures have been for the week ending on Hogmanay, which had been a “very difficult” time for the well being service.

She mentioned the variety of flu instances had been double the identical interval final yr and this had precipitated “distinctive pressures” for A&E.

Ms Robison additionally mentioned the freezing climate round Christmas had precipitated issues which had continued to have an effect.

“There have been actual pressures however regardless of that almost eight out of 10 sufferers are nonetheless being seen, handled and discharged inside 4 hours,” Ms Robison mentioned.

“That could be a large achievement for workers, given these winter pressures.”

The Scottish Conservatives mentioned the most recent figures have been “nothing in need of a shame”.

4-hour-target

Within the week earlier than Christmas the determine for these being admitted, transferred or discharged contained in the four-hour goal was 83.three%, up from the earlier report low of 81.1% within the week earlier than.

The newest figures, for the week ending 31 December, present there have been 25,865 attendances at emergency departments throughout Scotland.

Of those, 5,686 weren’t handled throughout the four-hour goal.

The statistics present that 1,156 (four.5%) sufferers spent greater than eight hours in an emergency division.

There have been 272 (1.1%) sufferers who spent greater than 12 hours in A&E.

The worst performing well being board space was NHS Forth Valley which noticed simply 57.three% throughout the goal time.

Larger Glasgow (71.1%), Lothian (76.2%) and Lanarkshire (76.Eight%) additionally missed the goal time in a few quarter of instances.

NHS Grampian (87.9%), NHS Highland (87.6%) and NHS Tayside (87.three%) have been the very best performing mainland well being boards.

Evaluation by information journalist Marc Ellison

With statistics, the satan is all the time within the particulars.

The newest tranche of weekly ready time information is little question surprising, with simply 78% of sufferers throughout Scotland being seen inside 4 hours – down 5 share factors on the earlier week.

However, dig a little bit deeper, and you will find the scenario in some areas is even worse.

For instance, Forth Valley’s casualty ready rooms noticed simply 57.three% of sufferers throughout the goal, down 22 share factors.

That determine eclipses the Eight-point drop on the earlier week for NHS Highland and NHS Tayside, who each remained among the many greatest performers regardless of the massive fall.

One can go a step additional, and in addition have a look at how every particular person hospital fared between Christmas and Hogmanay.

Forth Valley Royal’s efficiency was down most (22 share factors), Raigmore Hospital in Inverness was down 14 factors, and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee was 10 share factors decrease than the earlier week.

However how does this examine to the corresponding week from December 2016, I hear you ask?

Nicely, the comparability is not flattering.

Once more NHS Forth Valley heads the leaderboard with a 36 share level lower (it was 93% in week 52 of 2016) within the variety of sufferers seen inside 4 hours.

NHS Lothian and Lanarkshire fare a little bit higher with variations of 20 share factors and 17 respectively.

However one ought to be aware that the info for week 52 covers barely totally different dates – 25 December 2016 to 1 January 2017, versus 24 to 31 December 2017.

Nonetheless, contemplating the earlier yr’s figures included New 12 months’s Day – a day that is perhaps anticipated to see a excessive variety of alcohol-induced accidents in A&E – the lower in sufferers seen in December 2017 is arguably much more telling.

Case examine – Allan Browne, A&E affected person

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Media captionNHS affected person: ‘Minor fracture might have been worse’

Allan Browne was amongst sufferers affected by lengthy ready occasions through the festive interval. He instructed BBC Scotland he went to A&E on Boxing Day with a suspected fractured ankle after slipping on ice.

“After I went it in, it appeared not too busy, however the girl at reception instructed me it could possibly be as a lot as an eight-hour wait to be seen. Eight hours is a very long time.

“She mentioned it was in all probability not damaged and instructed me it was as much as me if I wished to hold about. I made a decision to not.”

“After every week of not having the ability to sleep correctly as a result of the ache was so sore, I made a decision I’m going to have to return to A&E to see if I can get an X-ray and simply see how lengthy it takes.”

This time Mr Browne noticed a nurse after about three-and-a-half hours.

“She instructed me that I had fractured my ankle and that I should not have been strolling on it,” he mentioned.

He believes the delay in getting correct therapy has lengthened his restoration time.

He added: “I all the time hear the excuse that this can be a ‘seasonal downside’. However the season comes round yearly. Cannot they put together higher for this? Cannot they supply extra workers?”

The scenario elsewhere within the UK

Final month, BBC evaluation of NHS information confirmed that fewer sufferers in Scotland have been ready longer than 4 hours in A&E than they did in 2012/three in distinction to England the place the quantity had greater than doubled.

It discovered England had a 155% rise in lengthy waits between 2012/three and this yr, as much as 2.5 million a yr.

Hospitals in Wales and Northern Eire additionally noticed a rise over the interval.

In Scotland, the variety of sufferers ready greater than 4 hours fell by 9% to simply over 100,000 a yr.