Hume calls for weekly publication of A&E waiting times

Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to publish A&E waiting times figures on a weekly basis in a bid to tackle the growing crisis in Scotland’s emergency units.

The latest figures showed that 88.8 percent of patients were seen within four hours over the Christmas and New Year period. The performance against the waiting time standard has worsened on the year. Five of the 14 health boards are still failing to meet the interim target of 95 percent, and earlier this month it was revealed that one health board had recorded a wait of 24 hours.

In England, A&E performance against waiting times targets is published on a weekly basis. Despite the Scottish Health Secretary receiving this information from Scotland’s health boards each week, Scotland’s health statistics body is only to move to publish the figures on a monthly basis.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has urged the Health Secretary to back calls to publish the figures each week so that people know if the crisis is improving in Scotland’s accident and emergency units.

Speaking after the latest weekly figures for England showed 92.4 percent of patients were seen within four hours, Mr Hume said:

“The SNP put the health service at risk when they took their eye off the ball on day-to-day issues in order to concentrate on their campaign for independence. Performance against A&E waiting times worsened with people facing waits of over 12 hours to be seen. Our A&E units are in crisis mode and action must be taken to support Scotland’s hard working NHS staff.

“In England, the weekly publication of A&E performance allow people to have a clear view of the state of A&E units and hold the government to account. That is the right approach to putting these units back on their feet. The Health Secretary’s refusal to support this transparent approach is especially disappointing because we know she already receives this information each week. All we want the SNP Government to do is make the information they already have available to people across Scotland.

“By changing her position she would make clear to ISD that this is a move which commands growing support.

“Liberal Democrats want to create opportunity for everyone by building a stronger economy and a fairer society. That means properly funding the NHS, to treat both physical and mental health problems.”

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