Injuries related to the cold weather and an outbreak of flu have been blamed for a dip in A&E performance over the festive period.
Figures for the week ending December 31 show that 86.2% of patients attending Ninewells’ emergency department were seen within the four-hour national target, down from 96.1% the previous week.
That is despite a similar number of patients — about 900 — attending each week and staff working additional hours.
Performance in 2017 compared poorly with 2016, when 97.9% of patients were seen within four hours in the last two weeks of the year.
Ten people waited more than eight hours to be seen at Ninewells, compared with none in 2016.
However, the hospital is performing better than the Scottish average, with nearly a fifth of patients across the country waiting more than four hours.
NHS Tayside said staff had “gone the extra mile” amid a three-fold increase in flu cases.
Chief executive Lesley McLay said that was an “exceptional” anomaly — and asked those with flu to avoid visiting relatives in hospital.
She added: “Despite these increases in patient activity, I am very pleased to say that our teams in hospitals and in communities have pulled together to deliver the highest standard of care for patients and their families.”
In addition, Ms McLay extended her thanks to staff, noting: “I know many have taken on additional duties and worked additional hours and I am extremely proud of their sustained effort, commitment and hard work at this time.”
Dr Ron Cook, consultant in emergency medicine, said A&E wasn’t always the best route for those needing treatment.
He said: “In the weeks before Christmas, we experienced a sharp increase in the number of patients with broken bones attending A&E due to the icy conditions underfoot, and we are now seeing a significant rise in the number of people attending with flu-like illnesses.
“About one in four people who visit accident and emergency could receive treatment more appropriately by accessing a different service, such as their own GP, community pharmacist or local minor illness and injuries unit. As everyone will appreciate, it’s important that we are able to see people quickly if they need emergency care.”