Alison Johnstone MSP, the Scottish Greens' health spokesperson, today (25 August) expressed concern as new figures showed a continued decline in the percentage of NHS patients being seen within the 18 weeks Referral to Treatment target.
The figures for June show 88.3 per cent of patients were seen within 18 weeks, a drop from 91.1 per cent last year and below the 90 per cent standard expected. Since the target was set in 2011 the percentage has steadily declined from 92 per cent.
The health boards below 90 per cent are Highland, Ayrshire and Arran, Grampian, Lothian, Tayside and Dumfries and Galloway.
Alison Johnstone MSP said:
"Behind these statistics are real people experiencing lengthy waits for treatment. Our NHS staff are under increasing pressure due to tight budgets, rising costs and more complex health needs.
"The Scottish Government and health boards need to renew their efforts to tackle recruitment problems. We need better connections within the NHS to smooth the flow of patients through the system, and more focus on preventative spending to try to reduce demand for NHS services."
18 Weeks Referral to Treatment publication (NHS)