South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has described as “totally unacceptable” a recent report which showed almost two fifths of chronic pain sufferers in Dumfries and Galloway, are waiting over the 18-week legal waiting time target for treatment.
The figures released last week (13 March) in a Scottish Government report by their Information Services Division – ISD Scotland - on waiting times for chronic pain, has shown a sharp increase in the waiting time for patients with chronic pain in Dumfries and Galloway.
41.1% patients seen over the last 3 months of 2017 were forced to wait above the 18-week target before their first appointment. This compares to 13% in the previous quarter. The median waiting time had risen from 15 weeks to 18 weeks during the two quarters.
Colin Smyth said, “These results are deeply troubling for people suffering chronic pain in Dumfries and Galloway. By definition chronic pain can be unbearable for those patients who have the condition whatever the cause, so having to wait for months just for a first appointment is just totally unacceptable. The target waiting time has never been met since the government began monitoring the figures yet they have done nothing to tackle the issue. It is now time for the SNP Government to get a grip and carry out a full review of these waiting times and consider what urgent action is needed. Tough questions need to be asked about why dozens of patients across Dumfries and Galloway have to wait in pain longer than the legal target. The failure on chronic pain waiting times just piles up the pressure on other parts of the NHS. After a decade of SNP government, it’s clear that services for many patients are getting worse, not better”.
For the full report please see: