90% in under 18 weeks: NHS wait times

Published on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 12:43
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

More than 90 per cent of patients in Scotland are being treated in 18 weeks or less from initial referral, figures published today show.

Health Secretary Alex Neil also announced that an extra 2,700 operations are set to take place each year at the Golden Jubilee following a £1.7 million a year investment to help manage future increases in demand.

Figures published today by ISD show that 90.6 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.

The figures also show that 92,093 or 98.7 per cent of patients were treated under the new legal guarantee. The guarantee means that patients have a legal right to receive treatment within a maximum of 12 weeks from when they are diagnosed and agree to that treatment.

The Golden Jubilee National Hospital will take on an extra 2,400 cataract and 300 joint procedures. Since 2000 across Scotland, the demand for cataract procedures has increased by 67 per cent while knee replacements are up almost 140 per cent, while the waiting times for these procedures have approximately halved.

In addition, the figures show that the waiting time target for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) services has been met early. In the period up to March 2013, 96 per cent of people were seen within 26 weeks, with over half of patients seen within seven weeks.

Mr Neil said:

"I am pleased that our treatment target is being met.

"It is also good to see that over 92,000 people across Scotland have already benefited from the new legal guarantee - the most ambitious treatment time target in the UK.

"However, while almost 99 per cent of patients were treated within the time frame and this is a significant achievement, I am very clear that I want boards to deliver this 12 weeks for all patients.

"We have seen a significant increase in the number of people who need cataract and joint surgery and increasing the number of operations at the Golden Jubilee will help boards to manage increases in demand.

"It is important to remember just how much progress has been made. In 2007 for example, the maximum wait just to get an appointment was six months.

"Today's data also shows that our CAMH target was again met early - the only waiting time target for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services in the world."

This investment funds the recruitment of additional consultants and other clinical staff as well as increasing bed and theatre capacity.

The extra 2400 cataracts operations per year represents an increase of 200 per cent of current Golden Jubilee capacity and the extra 300 orthopaedics cases represent an increase of 10 per cent in current capacity.

Source: Scottish Government

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