David Stewart

A&E in 2016: More than 3,033 patients in Highland wait longer than SNP target

16 January 2017

More than 3,033 patients waited longer than the SNP’s interim waiting time target at A&E departments in NHS Highland’s area in 2016.

New figures from Scottish Labour show that 3,033 waited longer than four hours, 125 waited longer than eight hours and 11 had more than a 12 hour wait.

The SNP’s interim waiting time target is that 95 percent of patients who present themselves at A&E should be seen and then admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The SNP government promised to introduce a 98 percent target for A&E by September 2014 but delayed it, apparently indefinitely, in January 2015.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs Rhoda Grant and David Stewart said the way to support our A&E wards was to take the pressure off hospitals in the first place by properly funding social care – but the SNP plans £327 million worth of cuts to local authorities like Highland Council which delivers social care in the Scottish budget.

Mr Stewart said:  “Our NHS staff do life changing and lifesaving work but it has been clear for some time that they are not getting the support they need from the SNP government, and the result of this is more than 3,300 patients waiting longer than four hours in the Highlands

“We have seen a decade of SNP mismanagement of our NHS. Under the Nationalists' watch we have seen a workforce crisis develop across the NHS from primary care to specialist consultants. That’s what happens when the plan for the NHS is built around short term crisis management rather than for the long term.”

Mrs Grant added: “Labour would properly fund social care in Scotland to take pressure off hospitals – that would free up resources and capacity so staff get the support they need to deliver the care patients deserve.

"Instead the SNP government plans to cut £327 million from budgets of councils like Highland Council which deliver social care across Scotland.”