NHS going backwards on SNP's watch

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP has slammed SNP mismanagement of Scotland’s health service after a series of new figures published today showed:


  • Fewer patients are being treated within the targeted 18 weeks between referral to first treatment. This has fallen from 91.1 percent of patients in June 2014 to 90.1% of patients in September 2014.
  • 56,252 patients in NHS Scotland were waiting for one of the eight key diagnostic tests and investigations. This is approximately 19% higher than 30 September 2013.
  • 91.0% of patients waiting for a key diagnostic test had been waiting less than six weeks. When comparing to the position at 30 June 2014 and 30 September 2013, this has decreased from 91.9% and 97.4% respectively
  • Performance against the SNP Government’s new target of 95 percent of patients to be seen with four hours from arrival at A&E to admission has worsened. During the quarter ending 30 September 2014, the proportion of new attendances at A&E services across Scotland that were seen within four hours was: July– 94.6% ; August – 93.2% ; September – 93.5% ]
  • 5 health boards did not meet the new, lower target.
  • 242 patients spent more than 12 hours in A&E. This compares to 37 in the same quarter of 2013.

Mr Hume said:

“These figures show a health system creaking at the seams as a result of SNP mismanagement. Doctors, nurses, frontline NHS staff and patients have been let down by SNP ministers who have taken their eye off the ball.

“Average waits in A&E departments across the country have increased, more and more patients are waiting more than 6 weeks for key diagnostic tests and the number of patients waiting more than 18 weeks between referral and treatment has gone up. Our NHS is going backwards on the SNP’s watch.

“Experts have been queuing up to warn the SNP over the scale of the challenge that our NHS is facing. But their pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears. With winter setting in we need urgent action to support frontline NHS staff.”


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