BMA cautious as targets in Scotland achieved

The BMA has sounded a note of caution after NHS Scotland produced an annual report detailing its performance against a set of performance targets, including waiting times.

Dr Keighley: NHS is making progress towards achieving the government's targets

The targets were 48-hour access to primary care, two-month all cancer waiting times, eight-minute ambulance response times, 15-week wait from outpatient referral.

Also included in the targets were reducing inpatient waits of more than 15 weeks, maximum 18 week wait for diagnostics, reduction in A&E attendances and a maximum four hour A&E wait.

According to the report, all but the A&E attendance targets were achieved.

Scotland is also on course to hit a target to reduce MRSA by 30% next year.

NHS Scotland chief executive Kevin Woods said: ‘The report is a record of achievement and improvement in our health service and I would like to pay tribute to the NHS staff whose hard work and dedication has made it happen.'

BMA Scotland chairman Dr Brian Keighley said: ‘I am pleased that the NHS is making progress towards achieving the government's targets, however this is likely to become increasingly difficult as we face a period of financial stringency where public sector spending will come under pressure.

‘At what stage will the drive to make efficiency savings and meet financial targets result in service cuts to frontline services?

‘I would therefore urge NHS managers to work with frontline NHS staff to identify areas where savings can be made without damaging service delivery.'

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