NHS Lothian has been shown to have one of the worst A&E waiting times in the country, according to new research.

The health board was ranked as having the third longest wait to be seen in hospital, alongside NHS Borders and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

The new data comes despite the fact that accident and Emergency (A&E) attendances have plummeted to the second-lowest level recorded.

A total of 80,423 patients visited a Scottish A&E department in February, 47,918 fewer than the same month last year – before coronavirus was discovered in Scotland.

However, despite the low attendance rates, thousands of people still had to wait longer than four hours to be seen, with NHS Lothian only managing to see 81.8 per cent of patients within this time.

The only areas where this rate was worse was in NHS Borders, where only 74.7 per cent of patients were seen, and in NHS Ayrshire and Arran, where 81.1 per cent were seen.

Meanwhile, 98.2 per cent of patients were seen within four hours in Shetland, followed by Tayside and the Western Isles (both 96. per cent.

Asked about the latest figures at the Scottish Government’s coronavirus briefing, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Our increasing focus now is on remobilising and recovering the NHS to start to bring down the waiting times and the backlogs that have been created by Covid.”

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