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Health Service Provision - Waiting Times

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Tuesday, September 27, 2012 Waiting Times

The Scottish Government has established HEAT standards for 2012/13, 90% of planned / elective patients to commence treatment within 18 weeks of referral and no patient should wait longer than 12 weeks for a new outpatient appointment at a consultant-led clinic.

NHS Boards are working to deliver the Patient Rights (Scotland) Act which contains a 12 weeks treatment time guarantee (TTG) for inpatient and day case treatment that came into effect from 1 October 2012. As the TTG will need to be delivered for each individual patient, 365 days a year, delivery of the legal guarantee will be measured for patients who have completed their treatment during each quarter (retrospective data).

Quarterly statistics available from November 2012 show;

  • In September 2012, 90.8% of completed patient journeys for which an 18 Weeks Referral To Treatment (18 Weeks RTT) waiting time could be measured were reported as being within 18 weeks. The figure for January 2011 was 82.1%. In September 2012 the waiting time could be measured for 91.5% of patient journeys. NHS Boards are in the process of fully implementing upgrades to their systems to improve the data collection.

18weeksRTT

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Source:ISD 18 Weeks RTT data submission as at November 2012.
Note: 18 weeks RTT statistics were first published in May 2011. 18 weeks data is based on completed waits during the month.

  • The number of patients on the list who were waiting over 12 weeks for an outpatient consultation following referral from any source increased from 1,275 (0.7% of patients on list) to 6,575 (2.9% of patients on list) between 31 December 2009 and 30 September 2012. At 30 September 2008, 16,855 patients were waiting over 12 weeks for an outpatient appointment following referral from a GP or GDP. (Statistics for all source referrals were not available at this point in time).

Outpats

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Source:ISD National Waiting Times Data Warehouse as at November 2012.
Note: This is based ongoing waits census data.

  • During the quarter ending 30 September 2012, the number of patients who waited over 12 weeks for admission as an inpatient or day case was 3,143 (3.4% of patients seen), an increase from 1,578 (1.7% of patients seen) in June 2009. NHS Lothian accounts for 43% of the patients who waited over 12 weeks during the quarter ending 30 September 2012 (1,338). At present this retrospective data is the best measure to use for the 12 week treatment time guarantee (TTG) for inpatient and day case treatment.

IPDC

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Source:ISD National Waiting Times Data Warehouse as at November 2012.
Note: The treatment time guarantee (TTG) will be measured against patients who have completed their treatment within 12 weeks. Published data is available for patients who waited over 12 weeks from 30 June 2009. Information on patients who waited over 15 weeks has been included for trend purposes only.

For the 18 weeks RTT data the figures reported are based on patient journeys for which an 18 Weeks Referral To Treatment (18 Weeks RTT) waiting time could be measured.  In September 2012, a total of 108,518 patient journeys eligible under the 18 Weeks RTT target were identified. The waiting time could be measured for 99,320 of these patients (91.5%). It was not possible to calculate the waiting time fully for 9,198 patients. In September 2012 the waiting time could be measured for 91.5% of patient journeys compared with 69.5% in January 2011. NHS Boards are in the process of fully implementing upgrades to their systems to improve the data collection. NHS Boards are working with ISD and Scottish Government to improve the consistency and completeness of these data to support the measuring and reporting against the 18 Weeks RTT target.

Inpatient / day case and outpatient data are derived from 'New Ways of Defining, Recording and Measuring Waiting Times' which was introduced on the 1 January 2008 and allows periods of unavailability to be deducted from a patient's total wait. New Ways information replaced existing definitions for waiting times data including the abolition of Availability Status Codes. The New Ways statistics are classed as provisional, as they require some further work in order to improve their reliability. A full description on data quality is available on the ISD website ( http://www.isdscotland.org/isd/5573.html).

Further Information