Martin Whitfield MSP has warned that A&E services in NHS Lothian are “at breaking point” as performance nationally hits a new low.

Statistics published this week revealed A&E performance across Scotland is at its worst point since records began, with almost 6,800 people waiting more than eight hours in September alone.

The figures show the crisis has hit NHS Lothian hard, with 2038 people waiting more than eight hours in September and a shocking 749 left languishing more than 12 hours.

In September in Lothian just 69.7 per cent of patients were seen within four hours – falling well short of the target of 95 per cent.

Over the last year a total of more than 2,000 people in the Lothian area waited more than 12 hours to be seen.

Mr Whitfield has said that “lives are on the line”, urging the Health Secretary to take action to deal with the crisis before winter hits.

Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said: 

“Across Scotland A&E services are in crisis, with the situation rapidly deteriorating with every passing week.  

“Here in Lothian services are at breaking point, with people left waiting, in pain, for hours on end.

“Hard-pressed frontline staff have been sounding the alarm for months, but the Health Secretary has spectacularly failed to take action.  

“Lives are already on the line, and if we don’t act now things will only get worse as we head into winter.

“Humza Yousaf is a Health Secretary without a workable plan, so we have a health service in freefall.

“We need urgent action to save our flagging A&E services and to make sure NHS Lothian can cope.”