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RCEM Scotland Vice President: “We must do better by our patients”

7 January 2020

Figures released today by the Scottish Government for November 2019 reveal the continued strain on Emergency Departments across Scotland.       

Data for November 2019 show that only 83.5% of patients were seen within the four-hour target in major Emergency Departments across Scotland, representing the worst four-hour performance of 2019. Overall performance has deteriorated by 8.9% percentage points since November 2017.

Attendances in November 2019 decreased by 1.42% and admissions decreased by 3.4% when compared to the previous month. However, the number of patients waiting longer has increased significantly. In November 2019, 3,141 patients waited eight hours, and 885 patients waited twelve hours. These figures are the worst on record for Scotland’s Emergency Departments.

Dr David Chung, Vice President of RCEM Scotland said: “We are now witnessing record levels of eight hour and twelve hour waits in Scotland’s Emergency Departments. Today’s data shows that despite November being a relatively quiet month in terms of attendances, the number of patients experiencing long waits has increased considerably.

“Poor performance cannot be solely linked to increasing attendances, there’s clearly an urgent need to build capacity in the system through restoring the number of staffed beds and building a primary and social care system that meets the demand of Scotland’s growing and ageing society. “Long waits mean patients on trolleys and care delivered on corridors. We must do better by our patients.

“We must all work collaboratively to systematically address shortfalls in resource and workforce in order to build a system that places resources where patients need them. Health Boards, Local Authorities, Primary Care, Integrated Joint Boards and the Third Sector must work together to prevent issues continuing to worsen and adversely affect patient care.”

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