Forth Valley A&E Waiting times showing some improvement

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Despite flu rates in Scotland being nearly five times higher than they were a year ago, new figures showed A&E staff across the country admitted, transferred or discharged 85.8% of all patients within the four hour target.

Performance at Scotland's A&E units improved in the second week of January, after two of the worst weeks on record.

That is well below the Scottish Government target of having 95% of patients dealt with in this time, but is up from the previous week, when the four hour standard was achieved for less than four of out five (77.9%) people in A&E.

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Waiting times at Scottish A&E departments have improved but are still short of the Scottish Government's target, official statistics show. The data also includes the number of patients that needed to wait more than eight hours and more than 12 hours in the emergency department.

"Flu rates in Scotland are now nearly five times higher than the same period previous year and hospitals are reporting a high number of people with already-significant care needs contracting flu, which is increasing demand even further".

Almost 90% of people were seen at ARI within four hours, however, this falls short of the 95% target.

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NHS Forth Valley said that rising flu rates affecting emergency departments across Scotland had resulted in "a significant increase" in the number of patients with repsiratory illnesses who were admitted to hospital in recent weeks.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, said: "The volume of flu cases and already-ill patients contracting flu-like illness is continuing to put strain on systems and it is crucial that patients with complex care needs and flu receive the right care, not simply the fastest".

Labour health spokesperson Anas Sarwar said: "While this is a welcome improvement on last week, the reality is the first fortnight of 2018 has been incredibly challenging for our health service".

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They suggested that although weekend and evening appointments are convenient for healthy, working-aged adults, those who are likely to need medical attention more urgently are older people or those who are chronically ill and not now working full-time.

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