The SNP’s flagship waiting time law was broken 2,000 times in NHS Lothian this spring and outpatient targets were missed a further 14,582 times, new figures released under Freedom of Information laws reveal.

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. A 12-week waiting time target also exists for patients waiting for their first outpatient appointment.

Figures released to Labour MSP [ATTACHED] Neil Findlay reveals that, between April and June of this year:

  • Over 3,000 people waited longer than 12 weeks for trauma and orthopaedic surgery
  • 49 per cent of paediatric surgery cases took more than 12 weeks in contravention of waiting time law
  • 1,895 people waited more than 12 weeks for ear, nose and throat outpatient appointments
  • 1,532 people waited more than 12 weeks for outpatient ophthalmology procedures

Local MSP, Neil Findlay said the figures on paediatrics were particularly bad given the ongoing closure of the Children’s Ward to out of hours patients at St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Neil Findlay MSP said:

“These figures reveal a waiting list crisis in NHS Lothian, and nowhere is that clearer than in paediatric operations.

“In 2012 the SNP gave patients a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks, but since then successive ministers have presided over a growing staffing crisis in our health service.

“That has led to service being cut back – like at the children’s ward at St John’s. This disgraceful mess cannot continue. Jeane Freeman should pledge to fix the workforce crisis in Lothian, and across the NHS.”

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