NHSScotland waiting times guidance: November 2023

This guidance replaces the previous waiting times guidance (2012) to support health boards in the delivery of the national waiting times standards. The guidance will continue to make sure that patients who are on waiting lists are managed fairly and consistently across NHSScotland.

3. Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities:

The Scottish Government is the owner of this guidance. The management of guidance and approval of revisions is the responsibility of the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government is also responsible for reviewing the performance of Health Boards, ensuring standards within this guidance are being met, and that waiting lists are being managed effectively.

Health Boards are responsible for the management of the patient journey and are expected to work collaboratively to ensure patients are treated as soon as possible. Health Boards are also responsible for providing clear information to patients throughout their journey, including information around waiting well.

Patients (and their carers) are responsible for communicating any and all changes to contact details and availability to their Health Board of Residence. Patients are also responsible for communicating any additional needs they may have. Patients should also ensure they are following clinical advice from their clinicians, General Practitioners (GPs), and Health Boards, throughout their wait and after their treatment/appointment.

Public Health Scotland have responsibility for the collection, quality assurance, analysis and reporting of national data on waiting times collected through the national WTs warehouse. This includes maintaining and developing national data standards, definitions and recording guidance. PHS will continue to work with NHS Boards to ensure the data they submit nationally is of sufficient quality and completeness to ensure their WTs performance can be accurately reported through official statistical publications.

Any enquires regarding national recording and data collection should be directed to phs.waittimessubmissions@phs.scot.


Email: waitingtimespolicy@gov.scot

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