First Minister Humza Yousaf has been accused of overseeing a “system-wide cycle of despair” after coming under pressure for NHS waiting times.

Scottish Labour deputy leader, Jackie Baillie, pressed Mr Yousaf at First Minister’s Questions over data from Public Health Scotland showing that more than 1,500 patients have waited more than three years for NHS treatment.

The FM admitted that “excessively long waits” were “unacceptable”.

He added: “We are working hard to drive down the longest waits, and we have already seen a significant reduction since targets were announced last July.

“The latest Public Health Scotland data shows that 73% of in-patient day-case specialties had fewer than 10 patients waiting for more than three years, and only eight had 10 or more.”

Mr Yousaf acknowledged there “there is undoubtedly more to do”.

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