NHS staff praised as waiting times fall

The reduction in waiting times has been attributed by the Health Secretary to the hard work of NHS staff.
The reduction in waiting times has been attributed by the Health Secretary to the hard work of NHS staff.

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

The figures come as 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.

The 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 December 31, 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 six weeks for the four radiology tests measured

*Outpatient performance has improved with a reduction in those waiting over 12 weeks of nearly 5000 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.

“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.”