Cole-Hamilton exposes failure of SNP waiting time improvement plan one year on

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today condemned the failure of the SNP’s Waiting Times Improvement Plan and warned that performance has actually deteriorated since the introduction of the recovery plan exactly one year ago.

Since the recovery plan was published on 23 October 2018:

  • Fewer outpatients are being seen within 12 weeks, with the latest ISD statistics showing this being achieved for 73.5% of patients compared to 75% prior to the publication of the recovery plan.
  • The First Minister’s 12 week Treatment Time Guarantee has been missed for more patients, including the recording of the worst ever recorded performance (68.6%) in the quarter ending 31 March 2019.
  • The 31-day cancer target, which was actually being met before the recovery plan was published, is now being missed.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“Exactly one year ago the SNP published their Waiting Time Improvement Plan. Since then A&E performance targets have been missed every week and more young people are waiting over a year for mental health treatment. In fact the Scottish Government is no longer even meeting the one cancer target that it was hitting before the recovery plan was launched.

“This is causing pain, anxiety and suffering. Whenever our party has challenged the SNP over these failings, the First Minister and the Health Secretary have deflected and deflected. Patients want to know when these targets will finally be met.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats worked hard to persuade the Scottish Government to put new mental health practitioners in every A&E and GP practice, but ministers are still a long way off delivering. We also want to see the integrated workforce plan that was promised to overstretched staff last year, and which needs to offer them some respite.”

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