A flagship SNP waiting time law has been broken more than 27,000 times in the Lothian region since it was introduced.
In 2012 the SNP introduced the Treatment Time Guarantee, which gave patients a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks for conditions such as knee and eye operations.
The law has been broken 27,400 times in NHS Lothian since it was introduced in 2012 according to new figures published today, including on 2,112 occasions in the first three months of 2018.
That is the highest quarterly figure recorded by NHS Lothian since the law came into effect.
Last week at First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard revealed that a growing number of patients wait more than 12 weeks for treatment, going from one-in-20 in 2015 to one-in-five in 2017.
Kezia Dugdale said:
“In 2012 the SNP made a promise to the people of the Lothians that they would have a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks. That law has now been broken more than 27,000 times.
“Long and unknown waits can have a negative impact on a person’s work, family life, mental and physical wellbeing.
“With NHS Lothian falling way below A&E waiting times targets, and a delayed discharge crisis in our local hospitals, this simply isn’t good enough.
“Performance has got worse since Shona Robison was appointed Health Secretary, and she is no longer up to the task of running our health service.
“NHS Lothian urgently needs a cash injection so that our dedicated staff have the resources to care for patients.”
What is the treatment time guarantee?
The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 established a legal 12 weeks Treatment Time Guarantee (TTG) for eligible patients who are due to receive planned inpatient or day case treatment from 1 October 2012. The Act states that eligible patients must start to receive that treatment within 12 weeks (84 days) of the treatment being agreed. This guarantee is based on completed waits. Unlike most NHS targets, the SNP Government enshrined this target in law. It was signed into law by Nicola Sturgeon on 29 March 2012.