Planned care waiting times

Significant progress in clearing two year waits.

The number of people waiting two years for a scheduled hospital appointment has significantly reduced, helping ease pressure on the NHS ahead of the winter.

This follows intensive work from Health Boards to clear backlogs caused by the pandemic.

The national target to clear two year inpatient waits in most specialities by the end of September was set in summer to address the impact of the pandemic on long waiting times for planned care.

New figures show that by the end of September, 60% (18 out of 30) of all inpatient specialities had fewer than 10 patients waiting over two years for treatment. 

The Scottish Government continues to work closely with Health Boards to clear remaining waits as soon as possible, with a specific focus on specialities and areas where there are larger amounts of people waiting.

This includes maximising and re-allocating NHS Golden Jubilee University National Hospital’s capacity, a new mobile operating theatre at Stracathro to support long waiting patients in Grampian and the development of a new Urology Hub in Fife. New National Treatment Centres opening in NHS Fife, Forth Valley and Highland next year will also create significant additional capacity to treat patients in orthopaedics.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“It is through the dedication and resilience of NHS staff that we have been able to clear a significant amount of two year inpatient waits.

“This is a positive step forward in our recovery from the pandemic and will help ease pressure on the NHS over winter.

“But challenges remain and there are still unacceptable waits in Orthopaedics, General Surgery and Urology – I am determined to provide the support necessary to drive improvements in these specialities.”


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