NHS Waiting Times

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 16th October 2002.

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Photo of Mary Scanlon Mary Scanlon Conservative

Question S1W-30189

To ask the Scottish Executive what the current target (a) average waiting time is for an appointment with a consultant and (b) target waiting time is following a referral from a general practitioner, giving separate figures for heart disease, cancer and any other diseases for which separate figures are available.

Photo of Malcolm Chisholm Malcolm Chisholm Labour

The national target in relation to out-patient waiting, set out in Building a Better Scotland , published on 12 September 2002, is that, by 2006, no patient should wait more than six months for a first out-patient appointment.

Information on out-patient waiting times is collected centrally at specialty level only. The median waiting time for a first out-patient appointment with a consultant, following referral by a General Medical/Dental Practitioner, for the six most common specialties and for cardiology, in the year ended 31 March 2002, are given in the table.

NHSScotland. Median Waiting Times for a First Out-Patient Appointment with a Consultant, Following Referral by a General Medical Practitioner: Year Ended 31 March 2002.

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Median Wait


42 days


66 days

General Surgery

40 days


49 days


69 days

Orthopaedics and Trauma

97 days


68 days

All Specialties

50 days

Source: ISD Scotland.

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