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The County You Live, Work And Play

Figures Show Waits Of 12 Hours And More


13/04/15


Hundreds of people have been left waiting for over 12 hours in the county's accident and emergency departments this year.

Fewer patients have been attending at A&E units  but the number being treated within the target waiting time has decreased.

The health board’s performance between January and February worsened, according to new monthly figures that were released.


Lanarkshire has three accident and emergency wards in acute hospitals – Wishaw, Hairmyres and Monklands – and 15,056 people attended them in January 2015. The number dropped to 14,319 in February 2015.

The figures show 87 per cent of people were seen within four hours during January but that slipped to 85.5 per cent in February.

The statistics also reveal 450 people waited over eight hours to be seen in January, going up to 509 in February.

And 130 people were left over 12 hours in A&E during January, going up to 190 in February.

That means 320 people waited over half a day to be seen in Lanarkshire’s A&E wards in the first two months of this year.

Across the country a total of 129,269 people attended A&E in January and 121,281 in February. The figures show 87.1 per cent of people were seen within four hours in January, going up to 87.9 per cent in February.


Heather Knox, director of acute services at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Our priority is always to ensure the safety of our patients and to provide effective care and treatment based on clinical priority.

“Our staff work hard to avoid delays and we regret any occasion where this occurs.

“Clinical and managerial staff continue to work closely to enhance our unscheduled care performance.

“The most recent published weekly figures already show an improvement, with 90.8 per cent of people seen within four hours for the week ending March 29.

“However, we are not complacent and we will continue to work hard to reduce waiting times for our patients.

“While the number of people attending the emergency departments has fallen, we have seen an increase in the number of patients who require to be admitted to a hospital bed due to the complex nature of their condition.

“Where it looks like a patient will experience a lengthy wait for a hospital bed, care is provided in appropriate clinical areas with access to toilet facilities and meals where appropriate.”

Since April 2013 Scottish A&E departments have had a target of treating 95 per cent of patients within four hours. This target was originally intended to be temporary and was due to rise to 98 per cent last September.


That has now been abandoned.