Waiting Times (Out-patients)

Question Time — Scottish Executive — Health and Well-being – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 7th June 2007.

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Photo of Des McNulty Des McNulty Labour 2:15 pm, 7th June 2007

To ask the Scottish Executive what recognition is being given to the performance of national health service staff in meeting and exceeding the targets set for out-patient waiting times, as recorded in the acute activity waiting times and waiting list figures to 31 March 2007, published on 29 May 2007. (S3O-144)

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I made it clear last week that the good progress that NHS Scotland is making in reducing waits for patients is due to the dedication and commitment of NHS staff throughout the country.

Photo of Des McNulty Des McNulty Labour

A prompt thank you from the minister would be particularly welcome when outstanding figures are achieved.

A significant contribution has been made by the Golden Jubilee hospital in my constituency to bringing down waiting lists and waiting times for people in need of elective surgery. Can the minister confirm that she remains committed to taking forward the use of the Golden Jubilee hospital for an increased number of patients and an increased number of operations, bearing in mind the fact that in recent years it has been so successful in meeting and exceeding its targets?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I assure the member that on the day the last waiting times figures were published, I went to the Beatson oncology centre in Glasgow to deliver a prompt thank you directly to NHS staff. I am sorry if he did not hear that, but it was intended not for him but for the staff who work so hard in the NHS. The fact that they heard it is probably the most important matter.

I recognise the contribution that the Golden Jubilee hospital has made to increasing the number of operations and bringing down waiting times for elective surgery. I am committed to ensuring that it continues to make that contribution, and I look forward to visiting it soon.

Photo of David Whitton David Whitton Labour

Does the minister agree that one good way of bringing down out-patient waiting times is the £100 million investment in the day hospital at Stobhill? I welcome her statement yesterday that she would not interfere with that. I seek reassurance that she will not interfere with the decision to build the new day centre at Stobhill.

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I certainly will not interfere, as the member puts it, in the decision to build the ambulatory care and diagnostic unit at Stobhill—it is a good development. I look forward to engaging with people in the communities that Stobhill serves to ensure that they have confidence in the range of services that are provided locally. That is the approach that I want to take, as health secretary, in communities throughout Scotland.