Thousands of patients spend over 12 hours in hospital A&Es as Scottish waiting times hit record high

More than 1,000 people waited half a day in A&E.

Scotland's A&E waiting times have reached their all-time worst, with thousands of patients forced to spend more than half a day in A&E before being seen.

The number of people waiting in hospitals' A&Es for more than 12 hours has reached the highest figure on record.

A total 1,015 people waited more than half a day in the week ending 20 March, according to figures from Public Health Scotland.

The Scottish Government is aiming to ensure 95% of people who go to A&E are seen and then discharged from hospital within 12 hours.

The amount of people who waited more than eight hours was also the highest on record, at 2,615.

The week covered by the figures was one that Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said could be among the hardest for the health service since the beginning of the pandemic.

"The unprecedented impact of the pandemic is continuing to take its toll on our NHS and these latest figures continue to underline the extent of the pressure on services," he said.

"We are currently seeing record high levels of Covid transmission and more people in our hospitals with Covid than at any time during the pandemic and this rise in recent weeks has inevitably had an impact on services like A&E.

"Scotland continues to have the best performing A&Es in the UK. In fact, Scotland's A&Es have outperformed those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for over six years."