Inpatient and day case NHS waiting time reductions: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/01758
Date received: 1 June 2018
Date responded: 29 June 2018

Information requested

The specific detail for the actual statistical numbers used by the First Minister for the decade apart comparison that arrived at stated 30% and 43% reductions [in in-patient and day-case waiting times].

Please provide direct links to the same official statistics and specific tables used that contain these referenced numbers that were used for the comparison.

For transparency, please also provide the detail of the calculation that arrived at 30% and 43% reductions.


The dataset for these statistics is SMR01, which is widely recognised to enable long term analysis in treatment times. For example, this dataset is used to enable UK waiting times comparisons on common procedures, which have been used by numerous researchers.

Additionally, this data set does not enable periods of unavailability to be deducted – allowing longer term comparisons as unavailability models have changed over the past 10 years.

The latest financial year data from SMR01 show the number waiting longer than 12 weeks for treatment was 73,196 in 2016/17, compared to 104,867 in 2006/07 – a reduction of 30.2%. The number waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment was 30,915 in 2016/17, compared to from 54,604 in 2006/07 – a reduction of 43.4%.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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