Extra Funding to Improve NHS Waiting Times

In April NHS Scotland  received £70million to improve waiting times in our hospitals and now an additional £32million has been added to that.

The money is to be used for additional clinics and extra staff.

The Scottish Government has set national waiting times standards for the maximum time that patients should have to wait for NHS services in Scotland.

Treatment Time Guarantee

  • From the 1 October 2012, the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 establishes a 12 week maximum waiting times for the treatment of all eligible patients who are due to receive planned treatment delivered on an inpatient or day case basis. (2007 it was set at 18 weeks)

New Outpatient Appointments

  • From the 31 March 2010, no patient should wait longer than 12 weeks for a new outpatient appointment at a consultant-led clinic. This includes referrals from all sources. (2007 it was set at 18 weeks)

Waiting times (quaterly figures):

Planned operations (May 2019)

Number of planned operations 29,635

Cancelled – 2,466

  • 968 by the patient
  • 918 for clinical reasons
  • 500 due to capacity/non clinical reasons
  • 80 other reasons

Cancer Waiting Times (March 2019)

62 Days From Referral to First Cancer Treatment – Standard to be met 95%

Number seen – 81.4%

95% standard  achieved in NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Orkney & NHS Shetland

31 Days From Decision to Treat to First Cancer Treatment – Standard to be met 95%

Number seen – 94.9%

95% standard achieved in NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Borders, NHS Dumfries & Galloway, NHS Fife, NHS Forth Valley, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Orkney, NHS Shetland, and NHS Western Isles.

Musculoskeletal Waiting Times ( March 2019)

From referral to first clinical outpatient appointment is 4 weeks  – Standard to be met  90%

Number seen – 50.5%

Chronic Pain Waiting Times (March 2019)

Standard to be met 18 weeks from referral to treatment

Number achieved – 63.8%

Number waiting longer than 18 weeks – 13.8%

Psychological Therapies Waiting Times (March 2019)

Standard to be met 18 weeks – 90%

Number achieved – 77.4%

Stage of Treatment (March 2019)

Treatment Time Guarantee (TTG) – All patients should be treated within 12 weeks of decision to treat

Number achieved – 68.4% Inpatients and Day cases

New outpatients National Standard – 95% of new outpatients waiting 12 weeks or less

Number achieved – 75%

18 Weeks Referral to Treatment National Standard- 90% of patients being treated within 18 weeks of referral

Number achieved – 77.3%

Diagnostics National Standard – 100% of patients waiting six weeks or less for a key diagnostic test

Number achieved – 84%

IVF Waiting Times (March 2019)

Standard to be met from referral to a secondary care/acute consultant 365 days – 90%

Number achieved: 100% [75.7% within 182 days]

Health Secretary in the Scottish Government, Jeane Freeman said:

“Our Waiting Times Improvement Plan will also see the creation of new elective and diagnostic centres, leading to quicker appointments in planned surgery, taking pressure off emergency treatment.

“We will continue to ensure the additional funding delivers the substantial and sustainable improvements needed.”


Reporter: Fiona Grahame



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