NHS Shetland best at meeting 18-week treatment target

NHS Shetland is among the country’s top performers in treating patients within 18 weeks of referral by their GPs.

New figures show more than 98 per cent of patients in the isles were consistently seen within the four-and-a-half month time-frame in the first three months of the year.

Shetland repeatedly vied with Orkney to top other health board regions in the country during January, February and March.

At the start of the year 98.9 per cent of patients in the isles were quickly dealt with following their GP referrals – equal to the Orkney percentage and well ahead of the national figure of 82.1 per cent.

In February Shetland trailed behind Orkney’s near perfect figure of 99.5 per cent, although its 98.6 per cent total was still impressive, and – again – well ahead of the national average. Only 21 patients had to wait more than 18 weeks during the month.

March, meanwhile, saw 98.5 per cent of patients in the isles seen within the alloted time-scale.

That, again, was slightly lower than Orkney, with 98.7 per cent, but it was still enough to ensure over 1,700 patients were seen promptly.

The figures have been highlighted in a report following a Scottish government commitment to improve waiting times for patients.

The government has determined the 18-week target should be delivered for at least 90 per cent of patients, although it also makes allowances for cases where treatment within 18 weeks is not “clinically appropriate”.


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