About this release

This quarterly release by Public Health Scotland relates to the number of patients waiting for one of eight key diagnostics tests and investigations and the time they have waited. The eight key tests and investigations are upper endoscopy, lower endoscopy (excl. colonoscopy), colonoscopy, cystoscopy, CT scan, MRI scan, barium studies and non-obstetric ultrasound.

Main points

At 30 June 2022:

  • 157,289 patients were waiting to be seen for one of the eight key diagnostic tests, an increase of 1.2% (+1,884) from 31 March 2022 and 77.9% from the average in the 12 months prior to the pandemic (March 19 - Feb 20). Of those waiting, 47.5% had been waiting six weeks or less (42 days), a decrease from 49.6% reported at 31 March 2022.
  • 34,935 patients were waiting for an endoscopy, a decrease of 0.9% from 31 March 2022 but still 56.3% higher than the pre-pandemic average. Of those waiting, 36.6% had been waiting six weeks or less, which remains similar to the 36.4% reported at 31 March 2022 but is markedly down on the 66.7% 12-month average prior to the onset of the pandemic.
  • The percentage of patients waiting 52 weeks or over for an endoscopy test increased slightly from 15.2% at 31 March 2022, to 15.5% (5,400 patients, +53).
  • 122,354 patients were waiting for a radiology test, an increase of 1.8% from 31 March 2022 and 85.2% from the average in the 12 months prior to the pandemic. Of those waiting, 50.6% had been waiting six weeks or less; lower than both 53.5% at 31 March 2022 and the pre-pandemic average of 86.6%.
  • The percentage of patients waiting 26 weeks or over for a radiology test increased from 4.1% at 31 March 2022 to 5.2% (6,419 patients, +1,450).
Image caption Trend in the number of patients waiting and percentage of patients waiting six weeks or less at month-end, split by test type, NHSScotland, 31 March 2019 to 30 June 2022


These statistics continue to be affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. On 30 April 2022, NHSScotland was stood down from emergency footing, however COVID-19 is still affecting provision and availability of services with waves of infection resulting in reduced capacity, for example due to increased staff absence and higher demand from emergency departments and inpatient wards. During these periods there is often a requirement to prioritise and test only those patients with the most urgent clinical needs.

Further background information on NHS Scotland Waiting Times, including diagnostics, can be found in CEL 33 (2012).

Further information

For more information see the Waiting Times section of our website. PHS have developed an animation, with further explanations of how waiting times are calculated. A more detailed report can be accessed via the following link: Diagnostic Tests and Investigations.

The next release of this publication will be 29 November 2022.

NHS Performs

A selection of information from this publication is included in NHS Performs. NHS Performs is a website that brings together a range of information on how hospitals and NHS Boards within NHSScotland are performing.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.waitingtimes@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
Was this page helpful?