NHS A&E waiting time performance at worst levels since records began

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The national figures show that more than 5,000 people were forced to wait more than an hour to be seen in emergency departments in England in the first week of the year, while more than 16,600 people had to wait more than half an hour, the NHS England statistics show.

'Thousands of patients are waiting in ambulances for hours as the hospitals lack adequate space'.

NHS Providers said that despite the NHS planning for winter more thoroughly and extensively than before, this still hasn't been sufficient as rising numbers of flu cases and more respiratory illness have placed "intolerable pressures" on staff.

It asks the Prime Minister "as a matter of urgency" to consider supporting strategies to reduce crowding in A&E departments, including a "significant increase" in social care funding to allow patients who are fit to be discharged and a review of the number of hospital beds that are available for acute care.

'It is no longer a winter crisis - it is a 12-month crisis in the NHS, ' he said.

This is well below the official target of 95 per cent target, which has not been hit since 2015.

Mr Leonard then added: "First Minister, you have been found out by the people of Scotland. What staff, patients and families need is a long term plan to fix the mess she has made of our NHS".

It has been sent to Downing Street as the latest A&E waiting times figures show a further drop in performance at the region's hospitals in December.

Hospitals are reportedly overcrowded, struggling to cope and running out of beds.

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

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'We have now reached the point where the NHS is unable to meet the standards of care required by the NHS Constitution'.

He added: "We are all proud of our NHS staff in enduring the conditions that have been created by Nicola Sturgeon, but is she really proud of what she has done to our NHS?"

The Labour leader read an extract from a letter from Mr Wilson's son Michael to Health Secretary Shona Robison, which said: "I am sure you will say that it's got nothing to do with you or the SNP and blame Westminster".

"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".

"That is down partly to policy, but it is down principally to the hard work of staff right across our health service".

Tom Wilson, 80, first endured three hours lying in a pool of blood before an ambulance arrived, the First Minister was told.

I say sorry to Mr Wilson if that was his experience of the health service.

"As we know, every year and winter the National Health Service comes under additional pressure, and we've seen the extra pressures that the NHS has come under this year", she said.

"The Health Secretary and I will be more than happy to look into the specifics of Mr Wilson's case if Richard Leonard passes them to us". The experts warn about the hazards of having overcrowded emergency departments. What have been your experiences this winter?

We also acknowledge the help and support given to the Emergency Departments by our colleagues in other specialties and disciplines across our hospitals.

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