Figures released to the board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde at their meeting on Tuesday show that they are failing to meet targets on delayed discharge, cancer referrals and waiting times.
The paper shows that almost 1/3 of their key performance indicators were marked as red for 2017-18, meaning that they were out with 5% of meeting the target.
Some of the missed targets which are most alarming include referrals for patients who are suspected of having cancer. Patients who are referred for cancer diagnosis are supposed to be seen within 62-days, but in the health board area only 81% of patients are being seen within this time, almost 15% less than their 95% target. The number of patients waiting more than 4 hours at A&E has also increased, with 12% of people waiting in A&E for longer than 4 hours last year.
More than 17% of patients across Greater Glasgow and Clyde waited longer than the 12-week treatment time guarantee in 2017-18, this amounts to 5,228 patients which is more than 2000 more patients than last year. Locally there are long waits for patients needing orthopaedic surgery which has previously been highlighted by Jackie Baillie in parliament and there is little evidence that these waits are improving.
The number of patients being delayed in hospitals across Greater Glasgow and Clyde is also consistently high. Last year, 4,332 bed days were lost to delayed discharge and in January 2018 NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde accounted for 12% of the total number of delayed patients reported across Scotland.
“It is deeply worrying that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are yet again failing to meet their targets. It is not good enough to dismiss these problems. A failure to meet targets is failing patients. We are seeing patients waiting longer and longer for treatment and referrals locally, and even waiting longer to be discharged from hospital.
“The health board is not expecting to meet its cancer targets until March 2019, by that time thousands more people will have been waiting longer than 62 days to be seen for treatment. We know that early diagnosis and early treatment is key to recovery so this has potentially life threatening consequences.
“This is yet another example of the impact that the SNP’s budget is having on people across Scotland. It’s time that Health Secretary faced up to the problems in our NHS and provided it with the funding that it needs to ensure that people’s health is not being put at risk