An NHS watchdog has found that waiting times for a host of tests have fallen dramatically in Scotland.
The Review of NHS Diagnostic Services report shows that this summer only two people waited longer than nine weeks for their tests compared to 10,600 in 2006.
However, it found that despite the improvement “the NHS needs better information to manage these high-cost services and to compare efficiency across health boards”.
The report by Audit Scotland said some NHS boards were unable to provide the watchdog with some basic information for its research.
“For example, a third of the endoscopy units we reviewed could not provide information on the number of planned sessions that they actually used in 2006-07,” said the report.
The report highlighted the NHS had made “significant progress in reducing waiting times for eight key radiology and endoscopy tests”.
“They have achieved these reductions by doing additional work funded by waiting list money and by making changes to how they manage and deliver services,” said the report.
It said: “Making further sustainable improvements to achieve the new 18-week referral to treatment target will be challenging.”
Copyright Press Association 2008