ONLY 81.5 per cent of patients who visited Victoria Hospital’s A&E department over the festive period were seen and dealt with inside the Government’s four-hour target.

In the week ending December 31, 222 of the 1,201 patients who attended the unit were there for more than four hours.

There were 30 people who had to wait more than eight hours while a further four were there for longer than 12 hours.

The Scottish Government this week admitted that an increase in flu cases and patients with complex care needs had contributed to significant pressure on A&E departments over the Christmas period.

NHS Fife consultant in public health medicine, Dr Esther Curnock, said they were currently seeing more incidences of flu than previous years.

“In Fife, we have seen a considerable rise in the number of hospital admissions as a result of flu over recent weeks, which has added pressure to our hospitals at the time of peak demand,” she said.

“It is crucial that if you show symptoms of flu, regardless of how mild, that you avoid visiting patients in our hospitals wherever possible until your symptoms subside.”

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser described the statistics across Fife, Forth Valley and Tayside as “shocking.”

He added: “These figures underline the serious pressures the NHS is facing right now.

“Everyone accepts that the winter is one of the toughest and busiest periods for health boards but these figures are unacceptable.

“I would hope that health boards in Mid-Scotland and Fife are properly supported to mitigate this crisis.”