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One million patients treated within 12-week guarantee

Published: 23 Feb 2016 11:11
Part of:

Waiting times figures published.

The NHS in Scotland has treated more than one million patients within the 12-week treatment time guarantee, since it was introduced in October 2012.

The figures comes as official waiting time statistics for October to December 2015 show that 95.2 per cent of inpatients and day-case patients were treated within 12 weeks – up from 94.6 per cent during the previous quarter.

Today's figures also show shorter waits in a number of areas:

  • 93.2 per cent of patients waiting for key diagnostic tests were seen in six weeks or less as of 31 December 2015, up from 90.3 per cent at 30 September 2015. This includes a reduction of 44.7 per cent in those waiting more than 6 weeks for the four radiology tests measured
  • Outpatient performance has improved with a reduction in those waiting over 12 weeks of nearly 5,000 since the previous quarter and with performance at 87.5 per cent.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

"Health boards across Scotland continue to deliver some of the lowest waiting times on record, with more than one million patients treated within our 12 week treatment time guarantee since it was introduced in October 2012.

"That is a tribute to the hard work of staff across our NHS, backed up by record investment and increased staffing.

"However, more clearly needs to be done to maintain and improve performance to meet the rightly demanding targets we have set. Patients should expect nothing less. That's why we have provided both immediate investment to ease pressure, and set out long terms plans to ensure our NHS is fit for the future.

"This includes a £10 million investment from the £31.5 million Performance Fund in 2015/16, to support health boards experiencing additional demands.

"This is helping boards with improvements along the entire patient journey from referral to treatment, as well as expanding diagnostic and treatment capacity, meaning patients receive faster treatment.

"We know there is still substantial work to do, which is why we have the solid fundamentals of increased investment and a growing workforce in place to help our NHS ensure all patients in Scotland are treated as quickly and as effectively as possible."

Funding of £1.5 million for the Golden Jubilee National Hospital to carry out an additional 1,550 operations each year also came into force at the end of last year. This is allowing patients from across Scotland to receive faster treatment and help manage increases in demand and clear backlogs.

The First Minister recently announced £200 million to create six new elective centres to carry out procedures like hip, knees and cataracts operations. The centres will allow people to be treated more quickly for planned surgery and the facilities will help the NHS meet increasing demand from a growing elderly population, taking pressure off unplanned and emergency treatment.

Notes to editors

Latest waiting time figures are available here:

The 12 week treatment time guarantee is the maximum waiting time patients should wait for planned treatment. It was introduced in October 2012 for all patients due to receive treatment as an inpatient or on a day case basis.

The 18 week referral to treatment time standard has a compliance rate of 90 per cent. Compliance for outpatient appointments is 95 per cent within 12 weeks.

During the quarter ending December 2015 there were 3,754 waits over 12 weeks, down from 4,261 during the previous quarter. The health boards with the highest level of breaches were Highland (509), Grampian (827), Tayside (612) and Lothian (734) Ayrshire and Arran (405) and Lanarkshire (399). This equates to 92.9 per cent of all waits over 12 weeks.