ALMOST 900 people weren't treated at Ayrshire's two largest hospitals within 12 hours of arriving at A&E in the course of a single month this autumn, a senior health official has admitted.

And Ayrshire and Arran health chiefs say they are now "doubling down" in a bid to ensure targets are met - as they gear up for what they say will be a "challenging" winter.

The A&E figures were revealed along with a host of performance data for NHS Ayrshire and Arran at a meeting of the area's health board.

Kirstin Dickson, director for transformation and sustainability, said: “We are still seeing a high number of breaches of the 12-hour target of treatment for patients.

"At Crosshouse in October, there were 527, and at Ayr Hospital 367 people.

“We have challenges moving into the winter period and an excess of services in demand.”

Other figures show a mixed picture of the health board's performance, with the number of in-patients and day cases waiting longer than 18 months falling from 929 in mid-June to 700 at the end of October - though the national target was to eliminate waits of more than 18 months by the end of September.

In 2023, NHS Ayrshire & Arran remobilised 79 per cent of all inpatient/day cases activity in 2023, compared to October 2019; exceeding the local ADP (accelerated diagnostic protocol) target of 75 per cent.

However, 18-month waits were eliminated in 10 out of 16 specialties, with general surgery, trauma and orthopaedics, and ENT (ear, nose and throat) reporting the highest recorded waits.

Compliance in relation to the national four-week target for musculoskeletal (MSK) waiting times remains at 29.8 per cent. October 2023 was the second time compliance has been below 30 per cent since June 2020.

Complaints against the 12-week target have gone up, from 49 per cent in September to 51 per cent in October.

Targets for drug and alcohol patients continue to meet targets, with 100 per cent compliance.

In September 2023, compliance in relation to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) was 99.6 per cent, which continues to exceed the national target of 90 per cent and which meets the local ADP trajectory of 98.6 per cent.

Performance against the 62-day cancer target has increased from 81.4 per cent in August 2023 to 82.9 per cent in September 2023;.

But this is below the national target of 95 per cent, and marginally fails to meet the local ADP trajectory of 83 per cent.

However,  performance in relation to the 31-day cancer target continues to meet the 95 per cent national target, with levels of 100 per cent in September 2023.

Board member Lesley Bowie said: “It is good to see the 62-day target for cancer has improved and the alcohol and drug partnerships are needed.

"There are some positive signs in the system, we have winter coming up, but our winter preparedness scheme will give us assurance.”

Fellow board member Joyce White added: “There are some huge challenges where we need to see further improvement, but it is a backdrop of winter an the challenges around it.

“The improvement actions could maybe be sharper on the specifics; what are the actions, and where are the priorities?

"We know this is a work in progress but the reports have improved hugely.”