NHS Scotland waiting lists hit record high

Home UK News NHS Scotland waiting lists hit record high
NHS Scotland waiting lists hit record high

Getty Images nursesGetty Images

The Scottish government has not achieved its headline goal to “eradicate” long waits for treatment in the NHS

NHS waiting lists in Scotland have reached a record high, the latest figures show.

Public Health Scotland recorded more than 690,000 waits for appointments or treatment for non-urgent care at of 31 March.

It also reported more than 8000 waits over two years and 85,000 waits of over a year for either an outpatient appointment or to start treatment.

The Scottish government said it is spending £30m to tackle waiting lists, but opposition parties have criticised its handling of the health service.

While more patients are being seen, more are continuing to be added to the list.

Of the waits, 534,178 were for outpatient treatment, up by 10% from the same point last year and more than double the size of the list before the pandemic.

There were 156,108 waits for in-patient treatment – a slight decrease from the previous quarter, but up by 5.8% from last year and more than double the average waiting times in 2019.

‘Yet to be achieved’

In July 2022, former health secretary Humza Yousaf laid out plans to “eradicate” long waits for treatment, including ending two-year waits for inpatient treatment by September of that, 18-month waits by September 2023 and those over a year by September 2024.

Public Health Scotland said the targets “have yet to be achieved”, reporting that more than 7,000 people were still waiting more than two years and the number waiting more than 12 months stood at 37,761.

Of those waiting, 1,369 have been on the list for more than three years.

The Scottish government has vowed to create a network of 10 sites across Scotland set up to tackle long waiting times for non-urgent care by delivering at least 40,000 additional elective surgeries, diagnostics and other procedures per year by 2026.

But a pause on capital spending means that only three centres are up and running so far, with two more scheduled to open this year. There is no timeline in place for the others.


A Scottish government spokesperson said it is spending £30m on national and local plans to reduce backlogs that “built up throughout the pandemic”.

They said: “We know there are still unacceptable waits in some specialities, but we are making progress.

“Despite the exceptionally challenging winter period, the level of activity for inpatient and day case patients was at its highest since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in the latest quarter; the ninth increase in a row.

“The number of new outpatient attendances (completed waits) was also at its highest since the beginning of the pandemic, with 324,553 patients seen.”

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said the backlog was “out of control”.

“Over 840,000 Scots are still waiting for crucial treatment or diagnostic tests, with many of them being forced to endure unacceptable waits of over a year or more,” he added.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.