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A&E waiting times cut despite 'beast from the east' storm

The health secretary said NHS staff worked 'tirelessly' during the severe weather.

Waiting times: NHS Scotland improved its performance despite the severe weather.
Waiting times: NHS Scotland improved its performance despite the severe weather. Peter Byrne / PA

Scotland's accident and emergency (A&E) wards cut waiting times despite the beast from the east blanketing much of the country in snow, official statistics show.

Almost nine out of 10 patients were admitted, transferred or discharged within the four hour target during the week ending March 4.

Much of the country's transportation systems ground to a halt during the severe weather event, with soldiers having to ferry NHS workers to and from hospitals in the Lothians and Fife.

A total of 88.5% of patients were seen within the time frame, still below the target of 95% which has not been met since July last year.

Despite the bad weather the figure was an improvement on the previous week's figure of 87.5%.

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1409439-military-operation-to-transport-hospital-workers-under-way/ | default

The health secretary Shona Robison praised health workers who had worked "tirelessly" during the period, including through a red weather warning which meant a danger to life existed.

"This was a tremendous effort and thanks to staff across the NHS who have experienced their busiest winter in a decade and continue to go the extra mile to give people the care they need," she said.

During the week in question, A&E wards across Scotland dealt with 21,776 patients. A total of 304 people had to wait more than eight hours, while a further 69 waited longer than 12 hours.

Robison said: "Weekly fluctuations are part of the pattern as winter pressures impact the NHS across Scotland.

"Hospitals saw incredible pressures this week with staff struggling to get in or out of work and patients unable to get home, and this level of disruption will take time to recover.

"However our A&E departments are still the best performing in the UK, as they have been for the past three years, thanks to our record investment and increased levels of staffing into our hospitals."

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