NHS Forth Valley "sorry" patients have experienced longer waits in A&E


Robison said: "Scotland's accident and emergency departments are continuing to outperform those across the rest of the United Kingdom - and indeed it is to the great credit of NHS staff that even at the height of these exceptional winter pressures, nearly eight out of ten people who attended A&E were admitted, transferred or discharged within the four hour target".

That performance, which equals January 2017, is 1% worse than a year ago and well under the target of 95% of A&E patients being seen within four hours.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust kept bed occupancy levels safe, but cuts meant 150 fewer beds in the last five years, making the challenge much more hard.

"Staff are working very hard to keep up but they're still falling backwards on that key four-hour target".

The SNP leader spoke out as she came under sustained pressure from Ms Davidson, Labour leader Richard Leonard and Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie over the performance of the NHS this winter.

Eleven trusts said they had no beds available on Sunday and at various points last week.

"Despite these challenges patient care has not been compromised and we have clinical oversight of all patients in A&E at all times".

Weekly figures released by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) showed an increase in cases from 46 per 100,000 people in the last week of December to 107 per 100,000 in the first week of January.

There was also a sharp rise in the number of flu cases presenting to Global Positioning System -up 78 % - from 21 per 100,000 to 37.3 per 100,000.

"Despite the best efforts and dedication of NHS staff to treat patients quickly, waiting times for non-urgent care have also deteriorated again in the past year".

The higher flu rate in Scotland means the health service here is under greater pressure than the rest of the United Kingdom, she added.

In 2016/17, there were 21,340 beds in Scotland's hospitals, Ruth Davidson said - compared to more than 23,000 in 2012/13.

A hospital spokesman said: "We would like to extend our honest apologies to Esme Thomas and her family, and to all our patients who have had to spend much longer in A&E than normal waiting for a hospital bed".

'Some of our own personal experiences range from over 120 patients a day managed in corridors, some dying prematurely'.

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS services, called for an increase in the NHS budget to £153bn by 2022/23 to deal with the projected increase in demand for services.

Recent media coverage has reported numerous anecdotal accounts of how appalling the situation in an increasing number of our Emergency Departments has become.

The First Minister said: "N evertheless, Scotland's NHS remains the best-performing NHS anywhere in the United Kingdom".

The statistics also reveal that more than 5,000 people were forced to wait more than an hour to be seen in A&E departments in England in the first week of 2018.

"We are experiencing significant pressures this winter because of a high number of complex cases and respiratory illness and our staff are working extremely hard to continue to provide the highest standards of care".