Nicola Sturgeon welcomes best waiting times ever

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New snapshot figures show that 99.8 per cent of patients in Scotland were waiting less than nine weeks for inpatient and day case treatment.

The numbers for June 30, 2010 which were published today by ISD Scotland represent the best ever performance by NHS Scotland and show that the health service continues to exceed the national waiting times standard of 12 weeks for inpatient and day case treatment.


New snapshot figures show that 99.8 per cent of patients in Scotland were waiting less than nine weeks for inpatient and day case treatment.

The numbers for June 30, 2010 which were published today by ISD Scotland represent the best ever performance by NHS Scotland and show that the health service continues to exceed the national waiting times standard of 12 weeks for inpatient and day case treatment.

In addition to this no patient waited more than six weeks for the eight key diagnostic tests and in a further example of improving performance 99.8 per cent of patients received one of the eight key diagnostic tests within four weeks.

The outpatient target also continues to be met with 99.9 per cent of all patients waiting less than 12 weeks to be seen. Additionally 97.5 per cent of those attending Accident and Emergency were seen within the four hour target time.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said:
“The NHS in Scotland must be congratulated for its continuing commitment to improving performance. These results represent the best ever performance by the health service north of the border and this is in no small part as a result of the hard work and determination of staff.

“Waiting for diagnosis or treatment can be an anxious time for patients and their families and that’s why the government and NHS Scotland have put such a priority on cutting waiting times. The NHS has shown once again that it is in an excellent position to meet the 18 weeks referral to treatment target set to be introduced at the end of 2011.

“Under the banner of the Quality Strategy the top priority now for the NHS is to ensure that the way people are treated becomes as important as how quickly they are treated and as a result make the quality of care it provides better than ever.”

NHS Scotland is currently working towards a referral to treatment waiting time target of 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment. This was announced by the Health Secretary in June 2007 and is due to be delivered by December 2011.

New ways of defining and measuring waiting times came into effect on January 1, 2008 when availability status codes – the practice of hidden waiting lists – were abolished.