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More patients wait 12 hours in A&E than waited 4 hours when SNP came to power

More people wait 12 hours in A&E now than waited four hours when the SNP first came to power.

A new analysis of casualty waiting times has exposed the extent to which the problem has worsened on the nationalists’ watch.

By the end of April 2024, there were 6,634 patients recorded as waiting for longer than 12 hours in Scotland’s emergency departments.

In July 2007, the earliest record of current A&E stats, just 4,450 patients waited four hours or longer.

The figures show the disparity now occurs every month.

In March 2024 there were 6,004 waits in excess of 12 hours, in addition to 9,053 in January and 6,385 in February.

But Public Health Scotland records show it took until December 2010 for the number of four-hour plus waits to breach the 6,000 mark.

In July 2007 – two months after the SNP took power for the first time – there were just 103 people who waited longer than 12 hours.

Alastair Cameron, chair of Scotland in Union, said:

“This analysis demonstrates how bad things have become in Scotland’s NHS under the SNP.

“When the nationalists took power back in 2007, it was considered intolerable for people to have to wait longer than four hours in A&E.

“Now it’s actually more likely people will have to wait longer than 12 hours.

“If the SNP, and their recent partners the Scottish Greens, had spent less time obsessing about separation and more time looking after our devolved NHS, patients would be far better off than they are now.”


The second chart on the page shows a timeline of four, eight, and 12-hour waits since July 2007.

It reveals the following number of people waited longer than 12 hours in A&E this year:

  • January 2024 – 9,053

  • February 2024 – 6,385

  • March 2024 – 6,004

  • April 2024 - 6,634

And the following number of people waited longer than four hours in 2007:

  • July 2007 – 4,450

  • August 2007 – 4,957

  • September 2007 – 4,287


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