Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said the First Minister's NHS Treatment Time Guarantee is not worth the paper it is written on after new statistics showed it being breached for one in four patients - the biggest ever margin.
New figures from ISD Scotland reveal just 75.9% of patients were seen within the 12-week Treatment Time Guarantee in the quarter ending March 2018 - the worst performance recorded against this target. NHS Forth Valley recorded the guarantee being met for just 56% of patients.
A further 20,657 patients are still on the waiting list, having been there for more than 12 weeks.
Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:
"The First Minister gave a legally binding guarantee that people would receive treatment within 12 weeks but these statistics again confirm that it is not worth the paper it is written on. Performance is now at a record low and there is no sign of a fix.
"People were promised redress on the "rare occasions" things go wrong, so what is being done for those who have been systematically failed?
"Now that her guarantee has been missed by a bigger margin than ever, the First Minister must personally issue an apology to the tens of thousands of people to whom it proved utterly meaningless. The Scottish Government must also explain how it will get performance on track, given staff are run off their feet on every shift and there is no end in sight to the recruitment crisis."