23 February 2019

The Scottish Government’s flagship waiting time law has been broken more than 170,000 times, Scottish Labour can reveal today.

In 2012, the SNP introduced the Treatment Time Guarantee, which gave patients a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks.

Scottish Labour’s analysis of figures released by ISD Scotland reveal the Treatment Time Guarantee has been broken a shocking 171,480 times.

The news comes as Labour activists speak to thousands of Scots today (Saturday) on the SNP’s mismanagement of our health service and Labour’s positive vision of investment in our NHS as part of a National Campaign Day.

Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Monica Lennon MSP, said:

“The SNP promised the people of Scotland that they would have a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks. That law has now been broken an astonishing 171,480 times on their watch.

“Every time this law is broken it leaves a patient in pain or distress as they wait to get the treatment they need. One of my constituents in Hamilton waited 80 weeks for an operation which is totally unacceptable.

“It is clear that the promise the SNP made to the people of Scotland was not worth the paper it was written on.

“Our NHS staff are simply not getting the support and resources they need to give patients the care they deserve. "That’s why I am joining Labour activists across the country in our National Campaign Day to put forward Labour’s positive vision of investment in our health service.

“Despite the distress this is causing people across the country, the SNP’s Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has admitted her government won’t meet its promise until 2021 at the earliest.

“People cannot wait any longer and that is why a Scottish Labour government would invest in our health and social care services to give our NHS staff the resources they desperately need.”

Note :

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.

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