Latest Waiting Times Performance

£2 million to reduce outpatient waits.

A further £2 million is to be invested in reducing waiting times as new statistics show that while performance is lower than last quarter, nearly nine in ten patients are treated within 12 weeks.

Increases in demand in recent years, and projected increased demand for the future, has prompted the creation of the National Clinical Strategy and plans to create a new £200 million network of elective treatment centres.

Today’s statistics for June 30, 2016, show that 85.6% of patients waiting for a new outpatient appointment had waited less than 12 weeks. To help address pressures now, health boards are to receive a £2 million investment to create around 10,000 new outpatient appointments, targeted at cancer specialities such as gastroenterology, respiratory, general surgery, dermatology and urology.

This follows on from recent investments of almost £15 million to help health boards with improvements along the entire patient journey from referral to treatment, as well as expanding diagnostic and treatment capacity.

While this investment has helped improve 18 week referral to treatment performance, the performance against the 12 week treatment time guarantee (TTG) has reduced slightly to 91.2%. Since TTG was introduced in October 2012 around 1.15 million patients have been treated within 12 weeks, equating to 96.2% of patients.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“While around 9 in 10 inpatients and outpatients are still being seen within 12 weeks the recent slip in performance is not acceptable.

“Boards have faced the challenge of increasing demand for services in recent years. Since this Government came to office the demand for inpatient procedures has increased by almost 22%, with day cases increasing by over 14%.

“We have long-term plans in place that will see a new £200 million network of diagnostic and elective treatment centres created. These centres will create new capacity to carry out procedures like hip, knees and cataracts operations, allowing people to be treated more quickly for planned surgery. This will help the NHS meet increasing demand from a growing elderly population, taking pressure off unplanned and emergency treatment.

“However, to improve performance now we are committing a further £2 million to support boards drive down outpatient waiting times - focusing on those patients on the cancer pathway, with specialities such as gastroenterology, respiratory, general surgery, dermatology and urology being targeted.

“We are also working with boards now to help improve their demand and capacity planning in line with our National Clinical Strategy.

"We know there is still substantial work to do. That is why we will be increasing investment by at least £500 million more than inflation by the end of this Parliament, and see a growing workforce in place to help our NHS ensure all patients in Scotland are treated as quickly and as effectively as possible.”


Latest waiting time figures are available here:

Today’s figures also show:

  • Waits for key diagnostic tests have reduced since June 2015, with 92.2% of patients waiting less than six weeks, compared to 89.3% during the same quarter last year. When it comes to the four key radiology tests measured, 95.1% of patients waited less than six weeks.
  • The 18 week Referral to Treatment standard during the month of June 2016 saw 87.0% patients seen within this time frame, compared to 86.6% during the month ending March 2016.

Notes to editors

Latest waiting time figures are available here:


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