NHS Ayrshire and Arran has defended its lack of response to a request for information on the number of people dying in A&E.

The health board said its systems do not enable the recording of the information in the manner requested, as part of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Scottish Conservatives.

The political party set out to obtain data from health boards across the country, relating to number of people dying after waiting more than four hours to be seen in A&E departments.

Overall, the data showed the number increased by 164 per cent across the four-year period.

Figures came from 10 health boards in Scotland, but NHS Ayrshire and Arran was one of four that did not provide information relating to the FOI.

An NHS Ayrshire and Arran spokesperson provided an explanation for the health board not providing the figures.

They said: "The systems used by NHS Ayrshire and Arran do not enable the recording of the information in the manner requested by the applicant.

"Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, the applicant has 40 working days to request a review."

The data that was gathered found that, in 2018, 281 patients died after waiting in excess of the target response time. But by 2022, that had increased to 743.

The Scottish Government said it understands performance is “not where it needs to be” and is committed to lowering the waiting times for patients in A&E.

A spokesperson said: “We fully recognise that longer waits in A&E are detrimental to patient outcomes which is why we remain committed to delivering improved A&E performance.

“Performance against the four-hour target has stabilised. However, we know performance is still not where it needs to be and we are working closely with the health boards facing the greatest challenges in A&E, to drive down waiting times and improve services for patients and staff.”