Belford Hospital outperforms Scottish national average

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Fort William’s Belford Hospital is consistently beating the national average when it comes to the number of patients admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The positive results come in a statistical analysis of the four-hour standard in national and regional hospitals by Public Health Scotland.

The analysis, released every week and publically available on the Public Health Scotland website, highlights accident and emergency attendance trends and the percentage of patients that are admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

In the latest figures, comparing statistics for the week ending Sunday July 4 2021, the number of people attending accident and emergency departments in Scotland was 26,080. The percentage of patients seen within four hours was 81.6, well below the Scottish Government’s target of 95 per cent.

Across Highland region, the figure was slightly better at 86.3 per cent, while Belford Hospital, which admitted 225 patients, stood at 89.9 per cent. Other hospitals in the NHS Highland region, such as Caithness General Hospital and Lorn and Islands Hospital, fared much better, with 92.3 per cent and 95.2 per cent respectively, while Raigmore Hospital lagged behind with 81.8 per cent of patients being attended to within four hours.

Belford Hospital, while currently at 89.8 per cent, has previously not dropped below 90 per cent since Sunday May 31 2020 when the percentage dropped to 89 per cent. At the start of the year, for week ending January 10, 2021, the figure was an impressive 99.1 per cent.

Commenting on accident and emergency waiting times, Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston said: ‘While 86.3 per cent of people in the NHS Highland region being seen within four hours at accident and emergency departments is higher than the national average, that figure is still considerably short of the Scottish Government’s target of 95 per cent.

Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston is calling for £600 million to help tackle hospital waiting times.

‘We also have to bear in mind the greater travelling times in the Highlands compared to other parts of Scotland, with people often having had to take even longer to actually get to a hospital in the first place.

‘There is real pressure on many of our hospitals – and wider health services – and SNP ministers can’t just rely on pushing already hard-pressed health staff to work harder.

‘The Scottish Conservatives want to see a one-off £600 million investment in our NHS to specifically tackle waiting times, ensuring more people are seen quicker and the experience of people requiring treatment improved.

‘SNP Ministers should consider backing our plans, as well as looking at the self-isolation rules for fully vaccinated NHS staff to reduce the risk of key departments in our hospitals being left under-resourced.’

While the figures release by Public Health Scotland show no health board on Scotland’s mainland attained the Government’s target, it is important to note patients attending any of the 91 locations providing accident and emergency services across Scotland are triaged first to assess the seriousness of their condition. Depending on the patient’s condition, diagnostic tests may be carried out and treatments given within the emergency department before the patient is admitted to hospital, directed to another service or discharged.

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Extra pic: Conservative Highlands and Islands MSP, Jamie Halcro Johnston, is calling for a one-off injection of £600 million to help tackle hospital waiting times. NO_F30hospital01