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Alarming: A&E chiefs from 68 hospitals warn patients are 'dying prematurely'

Alarming: A&E chiefs from 68 hospitals warn patients are 'dying prematurely'

Other issues raised in the letter, first reported in the Health Service Journal, include patients waiting up to 12 hours for a bed after doctors had made a decision to admit them, with queues of 50 patients waiting in one emergency department.

The letter was in fact leaked to the Health Service Journal.

The latest figures for the seven days ending December 31 show that just 57.3 per cent of those patients attending NHS Forth Valley's flagship A&E unit were seen and either admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

Patients in need of emergency care during these hours are now taken to hospitals in Bristol and Taunton.

According to a spokeswoman from the Department of Health and Social Care as a response to this letter, there is a 68.7% increase in the number of A&E consultants over the past 7-8 years and that "NHS was given top priority in the recent budget with an extra £2.8 billion allocated over the next two years".

Elective and non-urgent operations were cancelled last week at three hospitals and one health board, NHS Lanarkshire, had to ask office staff to volunteer to clean dirty wards in a bid to free up beds.

Ruth Davidson has called on the First Minister to stop cutting hospital beds while Scotland is in the midst of a "flu crisis".

She said: 'As we know, every year and winter the National Health Service comes under additional pressure, and we've seen the extra pressures that the NHS has come under this year.

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The First Minister insisted NHS Scotland is outperforming its counterparts in England and Wales in a number of areas.

PATIENTS are dying in hospital corridors as waiting time targets in A&E departments hit their lowest levels in 14 years, Theresa May has been warned.

A spokesman for The Save Weston A&E Campaign, which has been pushing for A&E to reopen overnight, said: "We feel deeply sorry for Mrs Thomas and her family and wish her a quick and full recovery, but we are also well aware of the very hard conditions under which dedicated NHS staff at Weston General are having to work".

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie called the problems "largely predictable" and said they were down to "Nicola Sturgeon's failure to do her job over the last ten years".

"Patient care is acutely suffering because of this Government's chronic underfunding of our NHS, which has left 92,000 patients languishing in the back of ambulances and staff vacancies of over 100,000".

The elderly man, who had smashed his head in a fall, then spent 13 hours on a trolley before being treated at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, she heard.

"I said earlier this week, the health secretary said in the chamber, that we apologise unreservedly not just at winter but at any time of the year to any patient who waits longer than they should do for hospital treatment or doesn't get the standard of treatment that they have a right to expect and I do that again, unequivocally, today".

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said Sturgeon had been "found out" on her stewardship of the NHS.

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