Date lodged: 21 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how it will address A&E waiting times, in light of reports from NHS Scotland that almost 800 people faced long delays in September 2017, an increase of 42% from the previous year.
Answered by: Shona Robison 6 December 2017
The Scottish Government National Unscheduled Care Team is working with hospitals across Scotland to minimise unnecessary long delays in A&E departments and deliver safe, person centred and effective care to every patient, every time through the six essential action improvement programme.
Scotland has outperformed the rest of the UK in terms of performance against the four hour A&E target for more than two and a half years and has the lowest rate of long (12 hour) delays in the UK. Figures released this week (5 December) show that the number of patients delayed more than 8 and 12 hours in October 2017 has reduced compared to the previous month (September 2017) and has also reduced by more than 10% and almost 50% respectively compared to the equivalent period the previous year; the number of patients waiting over 12 hours in October 2017 was the lowest in any October since 2013.
However, we recognise that more needs to be done to sustainably improve performance especially as we go in to the winter period, which is why we have put record investment and increased levels of staffing into hospitals to further reduce waits in A&E departments. I recently announced an additional £5million to support winter resilience this year, over and above the £9 million, announced in May 2017, to support unscheduled care - total of £14 million for winter 2017.