NHS Lanarkshire records worst A&E waiting times of any health board since pandemic began

NHS Lanarkshire has recorded the worst A&E waiting times of any Scottish health board since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

NHS Lanarkshire has recorded the worst A&E waiting times since the pandemic began.
NHS Lanarkshire has recorded the worst A&E waiting times since the pandemic began.

In the week to October 25, just 77.2 per cent of the 3,511 visits to A&E were dealt with within the target time period of four hours.

This is the lowest percentage of any health board for that week, five points below the next lowest of NHS Ayrshire and Arran at 83.5 per cent, and even further below the national average of 87.1 per cent.

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It is also the lowest rate of any health board since before the start of the pandemic, when NHS Lothian registered 76.9 per cent in the week ending March 8.

NHS Lanarkshire has recorded several weeks of below average rates. These were seven points below average in the week to October 18, five points below in the week to October 11, and 2.5 points below in the previous week.

There were 1,852 positive cases reported in NHS Lanarkshire in the week to October 31. The health board has the highest positive case rate per 100,000 population.

NHS Lanarkshire said at the end of October that it was treating more patients for Covid-19 than at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.

Judith Park, NHS Lanarkshire acting director of acute services, warned Covid-19 was causing “severe pressure” on NHS resources.

The NHS target is for 95 per cent of visitors to A&E to be seen and either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The target was set by the Scottish Government in 2007.

Across Scotland as a whole, this was met for the first time in three years in July 2020.

Newly-released Public Health Scotland data shows that A&E visits in Scotland during the first six full months of Covid-19 lockdown were at 67.8 per cent of what they were during the same period last year.

April to September saw 606,083 A&E attendances this year compared to 893,832 in 2019.

Those with non-urgent needs have been urged not to attend A&E because of Covid-19 restrictions, but health chiefs have stressed the service remains open for those who need immediate care.

NHS Lanarkshire has been approached for comment.

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