I've called for ministers to finally step up as new figures revealed performance against the NHS’ 18-week referral to treatment standard is now at an all-time low.
New figures from ISD Scotland revealed today that the 18-week referral to treatment guarantee was missed for more than one in seven patients in September 2016. Just 84.7% of patients were seen within 18 weeks and the 90% target was missed by nine NHS Boards.
Performance against this waiting time target has been on the slide almost since the day it was introduced. It is now at an all-time low.
The expectation that patients will be treated within 18 weeks of a referral has been missed for two years straight. That is a damning indictment of the SNP’s stewardship of our NHS.
Across Scotland, one in seven patients are waiting longer than 18 weeks. In Ayrshire, Arran and Grampian, this drops to just one in four. That wait must feel like a lifetime.
Ministers must finally step up, set out how they will turn this situation around and give hardworking NHS staff the support they need to be able to deliver what is being demanded of them.