Magazine article Public Finance

Scotland to Set Legal Limit on NHS Waiting List Times

Magazine article Public Finance

Scotland to Set Legal Limit on NHS Waiting List Times

Article excerpt

NHS patients in Scotland are to be given a legal right to a maximum waiting time of 12 weeks for an operation under plans announced by health secretary Nicola Sturgeon.

The minister said the Patients Rights Bill would put patients 'firmly in the driving seat, giving them more say in how services are delivered and a straightforward system of redress when things go wrong'.

A consultation paper published this week said the 12-week legal waiting-time guarantee would apply from the time a patient is referred to hospital for surgery.

The paper stated: 'This should be viewed as a long-stop guarantee. Our vision is that many patients will not wait for treatment and will be seen and treated well within the overall 18-week referral-to-treatment standard by 2011.'

Sturgeon pointed out that if health boards could not meet the 12-week target they might need to send patients for treatment elsewhere. …

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