Record numbers seek treatment at Fife hospital's A&E as more people wait longer

Health bosses in Fife have defended waiting times for patients attending its busy accident and emergency department after the latest data revealed only 78% were seen within the four-hour target period.

By Allan Crow
Thursday, 29th July 2021, 7:53 am

The Scottish G9overnment bar is set at 95%.

But NHS Fife said A&E was handling more cases than ever - despite pleas to the public to use minor injuries clinics, pharmacies or their own GPs if they were not facing life threatening conditions.

It revealed that, since May, the frontline department at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy had recorded five of its six highest daily attendances since records began.

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A&E Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy

And that was placing a huge strain on resources as the hospital continues to deal with COVID cases.

Claire Dobson, director of acute services, said: “The latest statistics show that NHS Fife is performing above the national average.

"In Fife, record numbers of patients have been attending the emergency department at the Victoria Hospital. Indeed, since May of this year, our emergency department has recorded five of its six highest daily attendances since records began.”

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Willie Rennie (Pic: Lisa Ferguson)

She said the entire health care system remained “under significant strain”, as it dealt with the impact of the pandemic, and she urged people to only attend A&E if they have life or limb saving emergencies

The figures were picked up by Fife politicians who called for more resources too be given to Fife’s hospitals.

Willie Rennie, MSP for North East Fife MSP, said: “Staff are working around the clock but they aren’t getting anywhere close to the support and resources they need.

“It’s clear that some people are going to A&E because of the limited capacity in GP surgeries. Many staff at A&E are now self isolating which is reducing capacity there too.

“NHS Fife is facing serious difficulties and the longer it goes on the more impact that will have on staff morale and patient care.”

Claire Baker, Labour MSP for Mid Scotland also hit out.She said: “One in five A&E attendances at Victoria Hospital are having to wait more than four hours for admission, transfer or discharge and that is simply not good enough.”

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