Over a quarter of eye patients missing waiting time targets

New figures have shown that 8,796 ophthalmology patients are waiting longer than the Scottish Government’s waiting time target of 12 weeks. This represents 26% of all ophthalmology outpatients.
These figures also demonstrate that since June 2015 the amount of patients missing this waiting time target has risen by 6,847 or 351%.
In the most extreme cases, patients are being forced to wait up to 546 days, or 78 weeks for essential cataract surgery. In addition, half of all health boards report substantially increased maximum waiting times.
Shadow Health Secretary Miles Briggs MSP commented:
“Many cataract patients are elderly and their sight is extremely important. These statistics show that they are having to wait an unacceptably long time, and this wait is only getting longer.
“I do understand that cataract surgery is not a life or death situation, but the quality of life that it brings is vital for many people.
“For many elderly people it could make a significant difference to their ability to get out of the house or participate in group activities which are so important to prevent loneliness.
“Just because they are elderly doesn’t mean they should be treated any less quickly than anyone else who needs treatment.”