OVER 700 patients had to wait longer than 12 hours to be seen at NHS Ayrshire and Arran A&E departments so far this year.

Figures released by Scottish Governments Information Services Division (ISD) show that 776 patients this year had to wait longer than 12 hours to either be admitted, transferred or discharged at Ayr and Crosshouse Hospital emergency departments.

The data has been collected from January 6 to July 7, giving a weekly breakdown. 

It also reveals that the local health board has broken the national standard of four hours for A&E waiting times on 7,168 occaisons. 

South Scotland Labour MSP, Colin Smyth has blasted the waiting times branding them a “scandal”.

Colin Smyth said: “With 776 patients waiting over 12 hours in NHS Ayrshire and Arran A&E departments alone this situation is nothing short of a scandal.”

Joanne Edwards, Director for Acute Services NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: “At times, we experience a high demand for our unscheduled care services and our staff work hard to assess and treat patients as quickly as possible

"We are aware that in recent months, the number of patients waiting more than 12 hours has been high and apologise to any patient who has to wait longer for either discharge or transfer to an appropriate setting from our emergency departments

“We are making persistent efforts to find ways to eliminate these waits for patients and to provide care within the waiting times standards.”