SNP Manifesto: Accident and emergency

30th May 2017

“Our [Scotland’s] accident and emergency is the best performing anywhere in the UK”

  • On average Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments in Scotland do perform better against the main waiting time target than A&E departments in the rest of the UK, although they’re still missing targets.
  • All four UK countries have a target to admit, transfer or discharge at least 95% of patients within four hours of them attending an A&E department.
  • In March 2017 94% of attendances at Scottish A&E services were seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours.
  • A&E departments in England were the next best performing, with 90% of patients being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours in March. This is followed by A&E departments in Wales (81%) and then Northern Ireland (75%).
  • The last time Scottish A&E departments met the four hour target across a single month was in July 2016. This is more recently than other UK countries, with English A&E departments last meeting the target in July 2015.
  • The four hour target is not the only waiting time target in accident and emergency departments in the UK though.
  • In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland hospitals are also required to report how many patients wait 12 hours or more from the time they arrive at A&E to the time they leave. Scottish hospitals perform better on this measure as well, with fewer than 1% of patients waiting over 12 hours.
  • Hospitals in England don’t have to report these figures though. Instead they report how many patients wait 12 hours or more to be admitted to hospital once an A&E doctor has decided that they need to be.

This fact check is part of a roundup of SNP manifesto launch, factchecked. Read the roundup.