Cole-Hamilton warns clock is ticking for new NHS waiting time platform


Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today said that a new NHS waiting times platform must give patients comprehensive and specific data about how long they should expect to wait for treatment and warned that time was ticking down for the platform to launch in summer 2022. 

In one of his first acts as Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Alex Cole-Hamilton set out proposals to overhaul the Scottish Government’s Treatment Time Guarantee which has been broken more than 400,000 times since its introduction in 2012. Under Scottish Liberal Democrat proposals, the SNP’s current worthless Treatment Time Guarantee that care will start within twelve weeks will be amended to also tell patients the reality of the average and longest waiting times in their area for the procedure they are awaiting. 

On 11th May 2022, Humza Yousaf told the Scottish Parliament health committee that a website was being developed to provide information on waiting times. He subsequently confirmed in response to a parliamentary question from Mr Cole-Hamilton that “We expect the platform to be available this summer”. However further questions about what treatments would be included were rejected. 

Now in response to a further parliamentary question from Mr Cole-Hamilton, the Health Secretary has indicated that the platform will cover 30 specialities within health boards but noted that a date is still to be confirmed for the publication of the online platform

Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

“A&E waits are among the worst ever. Cancer targets haven’t been met for a decade. The First Minister’s legally-binding treatment guarantee is in tatters. Since the SNP launched their NHS Recovery Plan last summer waits have actually got worse. 

“In one of my first acts as leader I urged the Scottish Government to be honest with people about how long they can expect to wait for treatment. We can only hope that having to provide this information in black and white will finally push the government into taking action to end long waits for treatment. 

“This new NHS waiting times platform must give patients comprehensive and specific data about how long they should expect to wait for treatment, but time is now ticking down for the platform to launch in summer 2022 as the Health Secretary promised.  

“Every extra million, every top official, every meeting devoted to independence, means less money, less minds working on the NHS crisis.  

“The government should be moving heaven and earth to cut waiting times to 12 weeks for everyone but the reality is that this is nowhere near happening.” 


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