26 May 2020

There is now an urgent need to implement an emergency recovery plan for Scotland’s NHS, Scottish Labour has said today, as new statistics have revealed that, immediately prior to the pandemic, less than 70 per cent of patients seen were treated within the 12-week Treatment Time Guarantee.

The statistics, covering the period of January to March 2020, reveal that 20,444 people, accounting for 31.3 per cent of the patients seen, had waited longer than the 12-week time limit for an inpatient or day case procedure.

The figures today from Public Health Scotland also reveal that at 31 March, just two weeks after the NHS was put on an emergency footing, 79,973 people were still on the waiting list for a procedure and as many as 35.6 per cent had already been waiting over 12 weeks.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, clinicians and health care professionals have raised serious concerns over the fact that many people awaiting medical treatment are facing deferral of procedure and longer waits.

As we leave lockdown, Scottish Labour is calling on the Scottish Government to implement an emergency recovery plan for the NHS to get services up and running and to ensure that those who require medical treatment, receive medical treatment.

Commenting, Scottish Labour health and social care spokesperson Monica Lennon said :

“Today’s figures display the challenges that Scotland’s NHS faced before the pandemic. As we emerge from lockdown, the Scottish Government must implement an NHS recovery plan to ensure that those who are overdue medical attention, receive the attention they need.

“The Scottish Government must give urgent attention to the patients who have missed out on operations and treatment due to the combination of long waiting times and the effects of the pandemic.

“MSPs have been inundated with emails and phone calls from constituents who are in severe pain or who have become more unwell during the crisis. There’s no getting away from the fact that many of them were left languishing in waiting lists before the pandemic hit.

“It is time to implement an NHS recovery plan to get Scotland’s NHS safely back on its feet and treating those that require medical attention as promptly and efficiently as possible.”

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