Constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has responded to figures showing that almost a quarter of patients in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde waiting for a key clinical test at the end of 2018 had been waiting for more than the target six weeks.

The figures show that 5,724 patients, 23.9%, had been waiting longer than 6 weeks as of 31 December 2018. The health board figures are higher than the Scottish average, which was 21.9% for the same period.

In comparison with NHS England, Scottish health boards perform much worse on diagnostic test waiting times. In December 2018 just 3.3% of patients in England had been waiting longer than six weeks compared to 21.9% in Scotland. NHS England have maintained the diagnostic service so that 97/99% of patients are seen within 6 weeks, every month for the last ten years.

Standard NHS target times are in place to give patients a guarantee of waiting times for specific services. Patients referred for key diagnostic tests are given a guarantee of receiving a test within 6 weeks of referral.

Jackie said:

“Too many people in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are waiting too long for potentially life-saving tests. That is simply not good enough.

“We know that early intervention can save lives and these standards are in place to ensure that people with possibly life-threatening conditions can benefit from this early intervention. This gives them the best possible chance of recovery.

“The Scottish Government is presiding over growing waiting lists for patients and growing pressure on NHS staff. It is clear that more resources are needed to ensure that our NHS can deliver the services that patients rely on.”

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