A&E waiting time performance best since 2009

Ambulance Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The Scottish government wants all A&E patients to be seen within four hours

Emergency departments at Scottish hospitals have recorded their best December performance since 2009, figures have shown.

A total of 94.9% of patients were seen within four hours - up five percentage points since December 2014.

Ministers have set a target of at least 95% of A&E patients being seen and then admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The health secretary said NHS Scotland had shown "consistent improvement".

The latest weekly figures show the target was missed for core A&E departments in the week ending 24 January, with 93.8% of patients seen in time.

But the Scottish government said the figure was 6.6 percentage points better than in the same week last year.

The poorest-performing health board was NHS Lanarkshire (91.7%), with Wishaw General Hospital the poorest-performing site (86.8%).

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "We know that the winter months bring additional demands across the whole health and social care services.

"We have seen that demonstrated over recent weeks but, thanks to the dedication of NHS and social care staff, we have also seen a consistent improvement on last year.

"Today's figures continue that trend and December's A&E performance is the best since 2009."

Figures for the rest of the UK are released at different times, but overall Scottish emergency departments are treating people more quickly than England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

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