Local MSP, Jackie Baillie, has hit out at the Scottish Government after First Minister, Alex Salmond, played down A&E waiting time failures in the Scottish Parliament last week.
This follows the publication of a new report by Audit Scotland, which found that the number of emergency patients seen within the four-hour waiting time target fell to 90.3% in December 2012, the lowest ever recorded since the target was introduced in December 2007.
During December 2012, the number of people that spent more than 12 hours in A&E was the highest on record (323 people).
At the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, a major health destination for patients from Argyll, which receives A&E casualties from Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, 479 patients were left waiting more than four hours for medical assistance in December 2012.
The study also found that the RAH has failed to meet the 98% waiting target for four hour waiting times for the last three years.
In January 2011, only 86% of patients were seen by a doctor at the RAH in four hours or less, with seven reported instances of a patient waiting more than 12 hours for treatment at the Paisley hospital since 2007.
Jackie Baillie says: ‘Last month, 93-year-old, Mary Scott, from Renton, was left waiting six hours for an ambulance with a suspected stroke and had to wait a further 6 hours for a bed in a ward.
The Scottish Government needs to stop playing games by sweeping these figures under the carpet. The reality is waiting times are being missed at the RAH and at hospitals across Scotland on a monthly basis. This is simply not good enough.
‘It was the Labour Executive that announced the four hour A&E target in 2007, but the Scottish Government’s own statistics said this week that the last time compliance was met across Scotland was September 2009. This is the shocking reality being faced by patients the length and breadth of the country.
‘The strategy of blaming someone else isn’t going to work. They need to take responsibility for their choices. They chose not to be prepared for winter, cut beds and nurses and make the NHS do more with less.’