Seasonal surge in slips and flu leads to longer waits for hospital treatment

© DC Thomson
Shona Robison MSP (right) with Ninewells Hospital staff (file pic)

Patients in Tayside faced longer A&E waiting times over the Christmas period as hospitals dealt with a surge in demand.

In the week ending December 17, 89.4% of patients were seen within four hours at Ninewells Hospital’s A&E.

At Perth Royal Infirmary, the rate rose to 91.7%

Across NHS Tayside as a whole, 90.2% of people were seen within the four-hour target, compared to 95.3% the previous week and 97.8% the week before that.

The increased pressure on services has been linked to a sharp rise in the number of ice-related falls, as well as flu symptoms.


Shona Robison, SNP MSP for Dundee East and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, visited Ninewells to thank the staff for their hard work.

She said: “I’m here at Ninewells to say thank you to all NHS staff working this festive season who are giving patients the best possible care in the face of exceptional pressures.

“Despite record numbers of people attending Scotland’s A&E departments – up 3,200 or 12% in just one week – A&E performance fell by a few percentage points.

“We are not complacent and are doing everything possible to improve that.”

Across Scotland as a whole, nearly 20% of patients waited more than four hours to be seen in A&E.

Scottish labour spokesman Anas Sarwar MSP branded the figure a “disgrace”.

He said: “Our doctors and nurses do fantastic work, but they have been left over-worked, under-valued and under-resourced by this SNP government.

“More than 20 hospitals failed to hit the A&E target last week, leaving hundreds of patients stranded in hospitals for more than four hours.