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Health Secretary thanks staff but highlights continuing winter pressures.
Health Secretary Shona Robison has thanked staff in A&E departments across Scotland as winter pressures continue to impact on services.
The number of people seen within four hours at A&E departments across Scotland increased in the second week of January, despite increases in flu-like illnesses and patients with significant and complex care being admitted.
Ms Robison said:
“Our A&E departments are continuing to be impacted by the pressures and demand of winter, so these improving statistics are a really significant achievement.
“Flu rates in Scotland are currently almost five times higher than the same period last year and hospitals are reporting a high number of people with already-significant care needs contracting flu, which is increasing demand even further.
“We still have a few months of winter left and there’s no doubt we’ve still got some challenging weeks ahead, particularly with the bad weather we’re experiencing, but I’d like to say than you once again to health staff right across Scotland for their continued dedication and hard work.”
Clinicians are encouraging those in eligible groups to protect themselves and their families by getting the vaccine. The current predominant strain is still is covered by this year’s flu vaccine.
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.
“I would continue to encourage anyone in an eligible group to get vaccinated - it is the best defence against flu.”
The percentage of people seen and subsequently admitted, transferred or discharged within 4 hours for the week ending 14th January was 85.8%