HEALTH: 1 in 7 Scots are now on NHS waiting list 

By Bill Heaney

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today called on the Cabinet Secretary Humza Yousaf to “step up to the plate” following the news that 1 in 7 Scots are now on an NHS waiting list.

According to the latest data from Public Health Scotland, 776,341 people are now on an NHS waiting list. This is an increase of almost 30,000 from last quarter, meaning that 1 in 7 Scots are on a waiting list.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:  “The ever-growing number of people on NHS waiting lists reveals the dire extent to which this SNP/ Green coalition have been ignoring and deflecting on our healthcare crisis.  It’s an insult to doctors, nurses and patients waiting in pain.

“The crisis in our NHS is stark and meaningful action is needed.  With 1 in 7 Scots now on a waiting list, it is time for Humza Yousaf to step up to the plate and focus his attention on addressing this emergency.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have repeatedly called for a burnout prevention strategy and a staff and social care assembly, but these have been ignored time and time again by the government. 

“If Mr Yousaf can’t sort this mess out, he will need to go. Staff and patients have been suffering for far too long to entertain yet more nonsense from this government.”

Meanwhile, following the news that over a third of GP practices reported vacancies during 2021/22, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called on the government to “get on with day job” and combat the crisis facing general practitioners.

According to Public Health Scotland, over a third of GP practices reported vacancies, while a quarter of practices also reported nursing vacancies. Lothian and Grampian health boards reported that more than half of their practices had GP vacancies.

Health Centres in West Dunbartonshire … shortage of GPs, practice nurses and clinical staff.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government decided to cut £65 million from primary care services and £5 million from the Sustainability Payment to practices.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:  “There has long been a workforce crisis in general practice, with a lack of GPs, practice nurses and other clinical staff.

“The Scottish Government have allowed these shortages to worsen with year after year of cuts and mismanagement. Now, we are at a boiling point where staff feel overwhelmed and under pressure, while patients are left waiting and waiting.

“GPs have some of the highest levels of burnout in the health service, so it is no wonder that many are planning to leave the profession. They can only be pushed so far.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to invest in robust workforce planning and place recruitment and retention at the heart of the NHS. My party and I will support all those on the front lines of our NHS, who have been asked to go above and beyond the call of duty for far too long.”

The latest figures for waiting lists can be found here 

In particular, the figures show that: 

  • 141,796 people are waiting on inpatients appointments as of 30th September 2022.
  • 474,600 people are waiting on outpatient appointments as of the end of last quarter.
  • 159,945 people are  waiting on key diagnostics tests as of 30th September 2022
  • Nicola Sturgeon’s 12-week Treatment Time Guarantee was breached for 120,842 (patients seen during this quarter or still waiting at its end)

Leave a Reply