NHS Grampian needs support to meet waiting time targets

1 December 2016

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald today called on the SNP to focus on the NHS rather than plotting another independence referendum, as new figures revealed that 8,848 patients in Grampian waited longer than 12 weeks for treatment.

New figures from Labour show that 53,257 patients across the whole of Scotland waited longer than 12 weeks for treatment despite an SNP law which 'guarantees' faster treatment. The Treatment Time Guarantee came into force in October 2012. At the time the Scottish Government said: "The Treatment Time Guarantee will ensure that eligible patients start treatment within 12 weeks of the treatment being agreed."

Lewis Macdonald said today:

"Since 2012, 8,848 patients waited longer than twelve weeks for treatment. In fact, the last few months have been the worst on record. And these aren’t just statistics. It’s pensioners in need of a knee replacement having to wait for months and people waiting for eye surgery, facing delay after delay.

"While Labour Party activists in Aberdeen and the North East were out last weekend campaigning on the NHS with staff and patients, the local SNP were only talking about independence.

"It’s no surprise the SNP don’t want to campaign on the NHS because here’s their record; local services facing closure, missed targets, and a growing workforce crisis.

“NHS Grampian has been underfunded for years, and this has an impact on the health board’s ability to meet waiting time targets imposed by SNP Ministers. The Scottish Government urgently needs to address this underfunding or patients and their families will continue to pay the price.

"Under the SNP the NHS is stuck in the waiting room while Nicola Sturgeon plots a second referendum."

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