Statistics published on Tuesday have shown that during the week ending 9 October, Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in South Scotland have continued to miss the Scottish Government’s legally binding target of 95% of patients being admitted to the hospital, transferred or discharged within four hours of arriving at A&E.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway saw an improving figure at 78.6 per cent, up from 74.9 per cent compared to the week starting 2 October. However, the figure for NHS Borders dropped from 70.4 per cent the week starting 2 October to 60.5 per cent the week starting 9 October.

The figure was up slightly in Ayrshire and Arran at 67.2 per cent; 61.7 per cent for NHS Lothian and 54.3 per cent for NHS Lanarkshire.

However, all health boards in south Scotland, except Dumfries and Galloway, saw big increases in the number of people waiting over eight hours and shockingly, some over 12 (see table below). In NHS Borders it jumped from 49 waiting over eight hours the week ending 2 October to 112 the week ending 9 October.

Colin Smyth said: “Week after week we are presented with a humanitarian crisis in our A&E departments.

“That we are now seeing more people waiting over eight hours for treatment is a deadly warning of the coming winter.

“Despite the crisis in A&E, the Health Secretary has gone AWOL and only appears to provide commentary on more disarray this winter due to his inaction.

“Staff are working tirelessly, but they are being left high and dry by this failed Health Secretary.

“It’s high time that this Scottish Government take action before more lives are lost.”

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