Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said new NHS waiting times figures showed “30 months of failure” as it was revealed that performance against a national standard is now at its lowest level on record.
Statistics published by ISD Scotland show that the referral to treatment standard has been missed in every month since June 2014. During the quarter ending December 2016 performance worsened again with just 83.8% of patients seen within the 18 week referral to treatment standard.
The 18-week referral to treatment standard – the time between the receipt of referral for treatment and the start of the treatment - should be met for 90% of patients.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
“Performance against the treatment standard is at an all-time low. The target has not been met since June 2014, amounting to 30 months of failure. That is an appalling record and a damning indictment of the SNP’s stewardship of our NHS.
“Frontline staff have consistently warned of the crisis facing our NHS. The waiting times statistics published today reveal the impact that this is having upon patients and staff. They deserve better and the setting of “national standards” shows that they have a right to expect better.
“With targets now further than ever from being met, the Health Secretary has a responsibility to explain how the Scottish Government will turn this around.
“Local boards and frontline staff must be given the support that they need. We also urgently need to see a transformational investment in mental health to end the intolerable waiting times in this part of the NHS.”