£50 million to reduce NHS waiting times

Investment to improve patient journey.

An additional £50 million will be invested to improve waiting times performance across Scotland’s NHS, Health Secretary Shona Robison has announced.

The funds will be distributed among all territorial health boards to improve performance – including outpatient consultations, diagnostic tests and treatment. This will support improvements in waiting times, particularly for inpatients who have been experiencing waits above the 12 week treatment time guarantee.

This comes in addition to the £10 million that was recently invested to reduce outpatient waiting times, focussing on areas such as orthopaedics, ophthalmology and gastroenterology.

Following this investment, waiting time statistics published today show the number of patients waiting for a first outpatient consultation has reduced by 19.7% between December and March.

The Scottish Government is also investing £200 million in a new network of five new diagnostic and elective treatment centres, plus an expansion of the existing Golden Jubilee. 

Ms Robison said:

“This increased funding of £50 million will help us reduce waiting times at all stages of a patient’s journey through the NHS – the original consultation, any tests required, and the final procedure itself.

“While it is encouraging to see an improvement in outpatient performance, I absolutely recognise the need to do more to reduce waiting times – particularly when it comes to the 12 week TTG for inpatient and day cases.

“Our ambitions for the NHS are founded on the twin approach of investment and reform. This additional investment I am announcing today will help improve performance and reduce waits.

“We made clear that £128 million is also available this year to support the delivery of service reform. All of this is backed up with our long term vision for the health service, as laid out in both our National Clinical Strategy and Health and Social Care Delivery Plan.”


The additional investment is sourced from resource Barnett consequentials following from the UK Spring Budget.

Answering a question in parliament about waiting times on 18 May, First Minister said:

“We are investing additional resources. We have also been working with NHS Grampian and other health boards on further investment, which we will announce soon. That investment will help boards to build up their capacity, and particularly their elective capacity, to make sure that all patients are treated in a timely fashion.”


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