Scots NHS to fall short on elective and outpatient treatment again
Flagship elective surgery and outpatient targets will be missed again in 2018, Ms Robison admitted. It comes after a damning report by public spending watchdog Audit Scotland last week found widespread shortcomings in the NHS north of the Border.
Opponents last night said it is now clear that the minister lacks the “ideas” to tackle the problems in Scotland’s NHS.
But Ms Robison rejected suggestions that she should stand down and pledged to see through flagship reforms of the system.
“The system in Scotland is outperforming all the other systems in the UK,” she told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland show. “Whoever would be in my shoes would face the same issues and the same problems, they would be implementing the same plan, a plan that I and my colleagues put in place, a plan that is the only plan, there is no other plan.
“It’s a plan that I’m determined to deliver.”
She added: “If we look at the targets four of them are actually very, very close to being met.”
These include the 31-day cancer target and the A&E targets where Scotland has the best record in the UK.
“Where there is a problem is with elective and out-patient performances,” she said.
“We will not meet the elective and outpatient targets by next year but they will be going in the right direction.”
The 12-week national standard for patients to secure an outpatient appointment is currently going backwards, having fallen eight points to 80.7 per cent in 2016-17. It means the number of people on the waiting list increased by 15 per cent, with almost 40,000 more people waiting.
Similarly, the elective standard for patients to be seen within 12 weeks for inpatient and day case treatment slumped to just over 80 per cent.
It means 13,200 waited longer than three months for treatment.
Tory health spokesman Miles Briggs said last week’s Audit Scotland report was “no surprise.”
He added: “The health secretary has a full 12 months to sort out these targets and she has already conceded that two key indicators won’t be met. This is not good enough.
“Under the SNP, the performance of our NHS has nosedived and it’s clear that Shona Robison and her government lack the ideas and impetus to turn this around.”