350,000 people breach four hour target in A&E under SNP
New analysis by Scottish Labour has revealed that over 350,000 people waited more than four hours in A&E since the waiting time target was introduced by the SNP led Scottish Government.
The nationalist's waiting time policy says at least 95 per cent of patients should either be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival at A&E, but this target was last met nationally in July 2017.
The First Minister struggled to answer tough questions from the BBC's Andrew Neil when he questioned her on the issue,Neil asked if the Scottish NHS actually needed protection from Nicola Sturgeon.
Scottish Labour analysis of figures released by NHS information services revealed that since the target was last met, 350,066 people have waited over the 4 hours, with 17,104 people left waiting over 8 hours and 3,773 waiting over 12 hours. The party said that the failure to meet A&E waiting times was a "sign of wider problems within Scotland’s health service since the SNP came to power in 2007".
Other statistics revealed also showed 88 Scottish GP surgeries had closed across the country since 2009.
Commenting on the figures, Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard said: "Continued failure to improve waiting times proves that the NHS is no safer in Nicola Sturgeon’s hands than it is in Boris Johnson’s.
“Long A&E waiting times can act as a warning signal for pressures elsewhere across the health service. Yet again, patients are paying the price and are trapped in a vicious cycle where pressure on GPs can mean that patients present themselves to A&E and as a result, emergency departments struggle to cope.
“The NHS is Labour’s greatest achievement and the staff who work in our health service are amongst the most dedicated public service workers in the world. However, they too are being badly let down by a failure to plan for the pressures facing general practice and the wider NHS workforce. The immediate concern is for the impact of winter where the pressure on the NHS can increase significantly but action is also needed to protect our health service in the long-term.
“That is why only Labour can be trusted with Scotland’s NHS. Our plans for Government would see an additional £2 billion invested in Scotland’s NHS every year to increase capacity, help alleviate the pressure and give staff the resources they need to care for patients in a timely manner - that is the least they deserve."
Image: Scottish Government