Scots waiting lists are 25 times higher than England according to research.

NHS Scotland data showed 1,587 patients had been waiting at least 156 weeks for either an inpatient or day care procedure.

More than 1,500 Scots patients are waiting three years or more for hospital procedures while a total of 6,831 Scots have been on the list for two years.

Despite the population south of the border being significantly larger, NHS England data showed 265 patients waiting 104 weeks or more for an inpatient or day care procedure.

The First Minister, who previously served as health secretary, said this would reduce waiting lists by 100,000 by 2026.

Labour highlighted the long waits faced by some patients in Scotland after First Minister Humza Yousaf used his speech to the SNP conference to pledge an extra £300 million would be spent over the next three years to reduce NHS waiting lists.

The First Minister, who previously served as health secretary, said this would reduce waiting lists by 100,000 by 2026.

But Labour said ministers had not yet detailed how the extra funds would be used to reduce waiting times.

And party health spokesperson Dame Jackie Baillie said: “The SNP has already broken one promise to patients and staff to end long waits, so its latest pledge will be met with some scepticism.”

Hitting out at the Scottish Government the Labour MSP insisted: “There is no time to waste tackling Scotland’s scandalous NHS waiting lists, which are leaving people to suffer for years on end.

“These waits spiralled out of control when Humza Yousaf was Health Secretary – he must address them as First Minister.

“Thousands of people have already been waiting years for help – they cannot wait any longer.

“We need urgent action as well as long-term investment to end these dangerously long waits.”

In the wake of Mr Yousaf’s speech to the SNP conference on Tuesday, Eileen McKenna, associate director at the Royal College of Nursing Scotland, said: “To cut NHS waiting lists, the First Minister must first cut the number of nursing vacancies across Scotland’s health and care services.

“Too many experienced nursing staff are leaving, worn down by the years of understaffing and underinvestment. And too few are choosing to study our safety critical profession.”

Dr Iain Kennedy, chair of the British Medical Association in Scotland, also stressed the importance of staffing, saying: “Any initiative to tackle waiting lists is simply not worth the paper it is written on if whole system workforce planning is not right at its heart.”

He stated: “The best way to deliver change that benefits Scotland’s patients in the long term is to invest in health and care workers and finally address the medical workforce crisis we face in NHS Scotland by recruiting and even more crucially retaining the doctors we need to meet the overwhelming and unmet demand.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We have met our targets to reduce waiting times of over two years in most specialities, with 83% of outpatient specialities and 57% of inpatient/day-case specialities now having fewer than ten patients waiting more than two years.

“Waits of over 78 weeks have also been reduced by 40.6% for new outpatients since June 2022. This is welcome progress but we know there is still more to do.

“We are committed to eradicating long waits, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, to ensure all people receive the treatment they need as soon as possible.

“The First Minister has announced new annual funding of £100 million, subject to the Budget process, which will help reduce inpatient and day-case waiting lists by an estimated 100,000 patients over the next three years.”