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Patients waiting times reduced in Scotland

25th August 2005

Patients in Scotland have benefited from a dramatic fall in waiting times, with inpatient and outpatient waiting times now at historic lows, according to health minister Andy Kerr.

Mr Kerr said not only had the figures reached the lowest ever but had bucked the usual seasonal trend.

As at 30th June this year no patients with a guarantee had waited more than nine months for day case treatment.

The number of patients with a guarantee waiting time of over six months fell by 82 per cent over the last year, from 6,161 to 1,121.

Mr Kerr said: "We are delivering what we said we would deliver. We have hit our existing targets again and have made great strides towards even tougher targets.

"Patients are benefiting from the hard work of NHS staff, from our investment to modernise services and from our move to harness the flexibility of the independent sector.

"Once again, no patients with guarantees are waiting more than nine months for inpatient treatment.

"In addition, bucking the usual seasonal trend, the number waiting over six months has also fallen - down by almost 30 per cent in the quarter and over 80 per cent over the year."

The results place the NHS on course to meet targets for six-month waiting times.

"Our unprecedented investment in the NHS and independent health sector has already resulted in thousands of patients being treated faster. This, and our drive to modernise the NHS will continue to bring further benefits to patients," Mr Kerr added.