South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that over 1 in 3 patients across Ayrshire and Arran are waiting longer than the legal maximum waiting time for key diagnostic tests.

Lastest figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland released yesterday (27 February) show that in the quarter to 31 December 2018 34.9% of patients in NHS Ayrshire and Arran waited longer than the six week standard for a diagnostic test such as a CT or MRI scan.

Across Ayrshire and Arran this meant that of the 23,818 patients referred for a key diagnostic test, 8,645 had to wait more than 6 weeks.

A standard waiting time of six weeks was set by the Scottish Government in 2009 for diagnostic tests such as CT and MRI scans to aid early detection of conditions like cancer or brain tumours.

Colin Smyth said, “These are extremely worrying figures and prove how much pressure local NHS boards are facing. The Scottish Government rightly set a standard time for key diagnostic tests like CT and MRI scans but due to under funding and a recruitment crisis NHS Ayrshire and Arran are being left without the resources to meet those standards.

Behind these figures are patients being left too long to get the results of extremely important tests. The longer patients have to wait for a diagnosis the longer they have to suffer in pain and the more difficult it becomes to treat, if necessary.”

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