A FIFE MSP has accused the Health Secretary of failing to ease “an intolerable strain” on the A&E department in the Kingdom.

Murdo Fraser's accusations comes after the latest A&E waiting times for Fife again failed to hit the Scottish Government's target.

A total of 95 per cent of A&E patients should be seen within four hours but in Fife, only 70 per cent were seen for the week ending October 31, when 1,143 patients attended.

The Scottish Conservative politician says Humza Yousaf must do more than tinker at the edges if the A&E department in Fife isn’t to suffer a disastrous winter period.

“The A&E waiting time figures in Fife make for grim reading," he said.

“Humza Yousaf has failed to get on top of this crisis and more patients are paying the price.

“Our heroic frontline staff are working flat-out in Fife but they are under an intolerable strain and haven’t been fully resourced by Humza Yousaf.

"The peak winter period is almost upon us and there is little sign of improvement. Humza Yousaf must finally show the leadership required, otherwise the crisis will only worsen in Fife.”

The weekly figures published by Public Health Scotland show that compliance with the four-hour standard has not been above 90 per cent since May.

The last time NHS Fife met the 95 per cent target was in September 2020. The worst week for A&E waiting times in recent times was October 3, when just 64.8 per cent of patients were seen within four hours.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “These figures show a slight improvement on recent weeks but we know that A&E units across the UK continue to be hit by the direct and indirect impacts of COVID.

“Scotland’s core A&E departments continue to outperform those in the rest of the UK, and have done so for more than six years.

“The Health Secretary has been very clear this will be the most difficult winter in NHS history and that’s why we’ve announced £300 million of measures to increase NHS and social care capacity as part of our strategy to simultaneously tackle the various issues combining in extra A&E waits.

“Alongside the additional £10 million investment recently announced to prevent delayed discharge and avoid hospital stays, we recently announced a further £10 million in winter funding which aims to ease pressures in A&E departments and minimise delays that patients are currently experiencing when they need urgent care. This includes co-ordinated work to reduce the time people need to spend in hospital so that others can be admitted quickly. It also includes the deployment of expert physio and occupational therapy staff at A&E units to help triage people best treated elsewhere.”