Chronic pain stats offer more bad news for Health Secretary

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today described new statistics showing hundreds of patients in need of chronic pain treatment waiting longer than the 18-week treatment target as "consistently disappointing".

The ISD Scotland figures show just 71.5% of patients in need of chronic pain treatment were seen within the treatment target between January and March. This means that 732 people seen in the last quarter had to wait more than 18 weeks, with a similar number still on the waiting list also already having missed the target.

222 patients had to wait more than six months for treatment.

The worst performance was recorded in NHS Grampian, where just 17% of patients were seen within 18 weeks.

Commenting, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“These statistics are consistently disappointing. Not only are hundreds of patients waiting weeks for treatment but performance is getting worse.

“This is more bad news for a beleaguered Health Secretary who seems to have little idea how to get performance back on track. Patients are desperate to know when precisely the Scottish Government expects this waiting time target to be met."

North East MSP Mike Rumbles added:

“NHS Grampian has been the worst funded health board for a decade and the impact on performance is clear.

“Waiting months on end for treatment when you are in chronic pain must seem like an eternity and it’s disappointing to learn that people who rely on NHS Grampian are once again forced to wait longer than others.

“These new figures show Shona Robison must shape up or ship out.”

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