The latest release of data on waiting times in Scotland’s main A&E departments is for week ending 12 June. In that week, 69.2% of patients were treated within the 4 hour waiting time target. Yes, strictly this was a poorer performance than the previous week – because then it was 69.6%!!! Who cares about statistical significance any more?
Since February 2022 the performance against the 4 hour target has STABILISED – at between 69% and 71%.
However, the number of ATTENDANCES HAVE BEEN ON A STEADY RISE from 18,946 in late December 2021 to 24,686 in late February and to 27,034 in the most recent weekly report. So there is rising attendance numbers but stabilising waiting time performance. That’s a positive sign isn’t it?
Numbers waiting more than 8 hours across Scotland has fallen substantially from a peak in late March of 2,659 to the latest number of 2,235. Recent weeks have shown variability in the performance statistic but all substantially below the March peak.
Similarly, numbers waiting over 12 hours across Scotland has fallen substantially from a peak in late March of 1,053 to the latest number of 761. Recent weeks have shown variability in the performance statistic but all substantially below the March peak.
Two final points:
(i) the NHS Scotland data on A&E performance show very substantial variations between health boards and individual departments – I offer the hypothesis that this argues for local/regional underlying causes rather than a national, systemic problem;
(ii) the fact that relatively much poorer performance of equivalent A&E departments in England etc. are ignored by the corporate media and the BBC in Scotland strongly points to the pursuit of a political agenda rather than any real interest in underlying causes and potential solutions.
Notwithstanding the complex and important issues involved in addressing the severe pressures on NHS organisations across the UK something stands out in Scotland.
That is the ‘unworthy’ position (politely put) of the Scottish Tory’s health spokesperson, Sandesh Gulhane – the more so given he is a medical professional. He will be aware of the difficulties being faced by the NHS in Scotland. He will be aware of the similar, actually more severe, difficulties being faced by A&E departments. in NHS England and therefore ‘difficulties’ STILL UNRESOLVED by his fellow Tories in government in Westminster – the latter alone amongst the governments of the UK able to throw more resources at the problem if they chose to do so.