Patient treatment target met


More than 90 per cent of patients in Scotland are being treated in 18 weeks or less.

New figures published by Information Services Division show that 90.8 per cent of patients whose entire journey could be measured were seen and treated within 18 weeks from initial GP referral to start of treatment.

All health boards with the exception of NHS Lothian and NHS Forth Valley are meeting the 90 per cent target over three months, and NHS Ayrshire and Arran narrowly missed the target during September.

The figures also show that over 97 per cent of patients across Scotland had an outpatient appointment within 12 weeks of referral, while over 97 per cent of inpatients and day cases received treatment within 12 weeks.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said:

“Quick access to treatment, delivered as locally as possible is what patients want. I am proud to say that NHS Scotland is continuing to deliver on the target to ensure that patients are treated in 18 weeks or less.

“We are continuing to work closely with those health boards who are not meeting the target to address any issues and to ensure future compliance.

“It is important to remember just how much progress has been made. In 2007 over 29,000 people were stuck on ‘hidden waiting lists’ not getting the treatment they needed and the maximum wait to get an appointment was six months. 

“Now, rather than having individual waits for consultations and tests, this target focuses on the patient’s whole journey from GP referral to treatment. This is the best way to ensure patients get the very best quality of care.

“Patients in Scotland are being treated quicker than ever and this fast treatment is now covered by a legal guarantee, which means that once patients are diagnosed and agree to inpatient or day case treatment, it will start within 12 weeks.”