May 9, 2018 Blog

Victory For Labour As Government Set To Amend Charter Of Patient Rights – SNP Waiting Time Law Broken Almost 120,000 Times

Labour has forced the SNP government into a commitment to amend the Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities to ensure patients get an accurate waiting time estimate.

The party will accept a government amendment to a Holyrood motion this afternoon which will lead to health boards giving accurate estimates under the Treatment Time Guarantee.

In 2012 the SNP introduced the Treatment Time Guarantee, which gave patients a legal right to treatment within 12 weeks for conditions such as knee and eye operations.

The law has been broken almost 120,000 times since it was introduced in 2012, analysis from Labour reveals.

Under the present system patients are told they have a legal right to treatment in 12 weeks, but not how long the waiting time for their procedure actually is.

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.”