A north-east health board is the worst in the country for ensuring patients are treated within 18 weeks of referral, new figures show.
NHS figures reveal 65.8% of patients referred for treatment were treated within 18 weeks in the three months up until the end of 2018 – the worst-performing board of 16 Scottish boards.
The national standard is 90%, and the next-lowest-performing board is NHS Tayside – 76.1%.
Within NHS Grampian, 4,025 patients were treated within 18 weeks, while 2,091 were not.
An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “We want to assure the public we will always see people as quickly as possible but unfortunately, in some specialities, our waiting times are higher than we would like.
“This is due to longstanding issues in recruiting to some specialist medical and nursing vacancies.
“As people would rightly expect, our first priority is always to see urgent or emergency cases.
“That does mean those with more routine cases may have to wait longer.”
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The figures also show 85.2% of patients arriving at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on the week beginning February 11 were seen within four hours. The standard is 95%.
The spokesman said the rate varies week to week based on a range of factors and added: “Our emergency department consistently performs above the national average. That is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the department staff.”