Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton today said the Scottish Government had reached a “shameful milestone” after the number of times the First Minister’s Treatment Time law has been breached surpassed 200,000.
New figures from ISD Scotland reveal the legally-binding Treatment Time Guarantee was met for just 68.4% of patients in the first quarter of 2019, meaning it is now being missed by a larger margin than ever before. Since its introduction in October 2012, a total of 212,867 patients have now experienced a wait over 12 weeks.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats led a debate on the Treatment Time Guarantee earlier this month and called for every patient for whom the SNP’s 12-week target is missed to be sent a letter by the Health Secretary, apologising for the Scottish Government’s failure to abide by its own law.
Performance has continued to fall since the Scottish Government published its improvement plan on 23 October 2018, falling as low as 47.3% in NHS Grampian.
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
“Nicola Sturgeon put pen to paper on legislation guaranteeing patients treatment within 12 weeks. The number of times that the Scottish Government has broken its own law has now surpassed 200,000 – a shameful milestone.
“To add insult to injury, the law is being breached for 250 patients a day – the most ever.
“Ministers have set out a plan to stop breaking the law by 2021 – a full decade after it was passed. This shows the full extent of the problems the Scottish Government is presiding over. Scottish Liberal Democrats, staff and patients demand better.
“Earlier this month the SNP and Greens teamed up to prevent patients getting the full picture. These patients deserve an apology from the Health Secretary. They need to be told their rights and for how many other people the law has been breached.”