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Urgent and Emergency Care in dire crisis, as RCEM calls for meaningful action to tackle it

5 April 2022

The latest monthly Emergency Department (Major EDs) performance figures for Scotland for February 2022 show:

  • There were 95,692 attendances
  • Four-hour performance was 71.7%, 1.9% lower than the previous month, January 2022, and the second lowest on record
  • 27,087 patients were delayed by four hours or more, this is means more than one in four patients were delayed by four hours or more
  • 6,248 patients were delayed by eight hours or more
  • 2,230 patients were delayed by 12 hours or more, this represents the highest proportion of attendances experiencing 12 hour waits since records began

Dr John Thomson, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, said:

“The crisis in Urgent and Emergency Care is dire. The health system in Scotland is ceasing to function as it should. Patients are at risk of severe harm and staff are facing stress, distress, burnout and moral injury on a daily basis.

“This is unsustainable and dangerous. The first step to tackling this crisis is opening 1,000 beds that are desperately needed across the system and recruiting senior decision makers in Emergency Medicine. In addition, the crisis in social care, which is resulting in the most vulnerable patients residing in hospital for extremely long periods of time before being discharged means that the system is unable to cope.

“This patient safety crisis must be a priority for the Scottish Government, and they must take meaningful action now before more patients come to severe harm.”

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