Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said that the First Minister’s treatment time guarantee doesn’t mean anything to the more than 1 in 4 patients who are not being treated on time – the largest margin the target has ever been breached by.
The legally binding commitment made by the Scottish Government promises that patients will be treated within 12 weeks. New statistics out today show this was only the case for 72.9% of patients in Scotland for the quarter ending September 2018.
In NHS Grampian the guarantee was met for only 55.3% of patients, followed by NHS Highland (56.0%) and NHS Forth Valley (57.4%).
Mr Cole-Hamilton reacted by saying:
“Performance against the 12 week treatment time has sunk to a new low. This is a blow for the thousands of patients who are left waiting.
“The Government made a legally binding commitment to every single eligible patient. We were told it would only be rare occasions that things would go wrong. The reality is that happens for more than one in four patients and it is such a mess that the SNP don’t expect to sort it until 2021.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats demand better.
“Patients are still being sent letters telling them to expect to be seen within 12 weeks. This adds insult to injury. The Government should be straightforward with people so they know how long they will really have to wait.”