More than 30 patients a week could be dying due to unprecedented delays at struggling A&E wards across Scotland, doctors have warned.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM), which represents emergency doctors, said record high waiting times would inevitably lead to “appalling harm” for patients.

Only 66.2 per cent of patients were seen and subsequently discharged or admitted to hospital within 12 hours, far short of the Scottish Government’s official target of 95 per cent.

The number of people waiting more than eight hours at A&E was also the highest on record at 2,615, as hospitals across the country struggle with high Covid-19 cases and staff absences.

The RCEM said it estimated there is one excess death for every 82 patients delayed at A&E for more than six hours, meaning that in the week ending 20 March, 32 people may have died as a direct result of the problems.

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