EMERGENCY departments across Scotland clocked the worst monthly four-hour performance on record in December 2019, according to figures released by Scottish Government.
Data for that month shows that only 81.6 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour target in major emergency departments across Scotland. This represents a 6.6 per cent drop compared to December 2018.
Data for all of 2019 shows an average four-hour performance of 87.33 per cent, a decrease of 2.15 per cent from 2018. A total of 5,156 patients waited twelve hours or more in emergency departments, representing an increase of 79.15 per cent since 2018.
Dr David Chung, Vice President of RCEM Scotland said: "Historically, emergency departments across Scotland have always performed better than other UK nations. We are now at serious risk of losing our number one position due to poor performance.
"These figures should sound alarm bells to all those involved in health policy… Poor emergency department performance in Scotland tells us that there are shortcomings in capacity in other parts of the health and social care system. Sadly, that engine warning light has been flashing for some time now. Emergency departments are now a safety net for patients who have nowhere else to go."