Scottish Labour Secure Waiting Time Guarantee

The Scottish Government has accepted a Scottish Labour amendment to the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities, so that patients are entitled to an accurate waiting time for operations.

The SNP introduced the Treatment Time Guarantee in 2012, which promised patients that they would have to wait a maximum of 12 weeks for routine operations. So far the law has been broken 120,000 times - with the problem especially acute in Edinburgh and the Lothians. However, under the present system patients are not given an actual estimate about how long they will have to wait.

Scottish Labour have a been campaigning to extend patient rights so that they get accurate information about waiting times rather than what has ended up being a mere ambition on many occasions. This morning, the Scottish Government accepted the Scottish Labour amendment, meaning it will be passed this afternoon.

Labour Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar said:

“This is a real win for patients across the country, and the government should commit to delivering it by the end of the month. 

“In 2012 the SNP made a promise to the people of Scotland that they would have a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks. That law has now been broken almost 120,000 times.

“Patients deserve this transparency when it comes to their treatment. Long and unknown waits can have a negative impact on a person’s work, family life, mental and physical well being.

“NHS boards should communicate an accurate expected waiting time to patients. This upfront approach will at least provide transparency and comfort to patients rather keep them in the dark.

“The SNP has seen common sense here - now they must deliver for patients.”

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