Over 4,000 people waited more than 24 hours for treatment in Scotland’s A&E departments this year, according to new figures.

A total of 4,603 patients spent a day or more in emergency waiting rooms in year up to August 2023 – 126 times the number recorded in 2019.

Data obtained by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) showed long wait times for emergency treatment began to increase “dramatically” as the country emerged from the Covid pandemic in 2021.

Senior medics branded the number “appalling” and accused the Scottish Government of failing to take serious action to avoid a repeat of the soaring rates recorded last winter.

The total for this year so far is 209 times higher than the 2019 figure of 22 during the same period, figures obtained by freedom of information (FOI) legislation showed.

It comes well before the traditional winter peak for waiting times.

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