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Cole-Hamilton: First Minister’s treatment guarantee missed for 30,000 patients

November 28, 2017 1:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said Nicola Sturgeon's NHS Treatment Time Guarantee let-down is indicative of the SNP Government's failings, after new statistics show it being missed by an even wider margin.

New ISD Scotland figures reveal just 80% of patients were seen within the 12-week Treatment Time Guarantee in the quarter ending September 2017. This is worst performance recorded since its introduction and compares to 91% a year earlier.

They also show 30,000 patients waited, or are still waiting, more than 12 weeks.

Performance against the 18-week treatment target is also at a new low, with just 3 of 14 boards meeting the target.

Mr Cole-Hamilton commented:

"Nicola Sturgeon's so-called treatment time guarantee is being missed by a wider and wider margin and is indicative of this failing SNP Government.

"When the First Minister announced her legally binding guarantee she said there would be 'a straightforward system of redress, on the rare occasions when things go wrong'. However, the SNP is now letting patients down on an extraordinary scale. In the last quarter alone 30,000 people were let down. They and hardworking NHS staff are owed an apology and a thorough explanation of how the Scottish Government will turn this around.

"Responsibility for this failure lies with SNP ministers. They haven't got to grips with the NHS recruitment crisis and boards are coping with "unprecedented cuts".

"It is time SNP ministers empowered frontline staff and gave them the resources and support they need."