South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that 1 in 5 patients in NHS Dumfries and Galloway are waiting longer than 18 weeks for a chronic pain appointment.

Latest figures from the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland show that in the three months to June 2019 21.7% of patients referred to a pain clinic waited longer than 18 weeks for a first appointment. This was an increase on the 4.8% of patients who waited longer than 18 weeks during the same period last year.

Colin Smyth MSP said, “These waiting times are totally unacceptable for people suffering from chronic pain across Dumfries and Galloway. The figures released in this report show that services for patients experiencing chronic pain are only getting worse, not better.

The fact that the NHS recruitment crisis is affecting local services could mean that these waiting times are unlikely to improve anytime soon. After a decade of SNP mismanagement of our NHS we now have patient services getting worse. It’s time the SNP started to resource our NHS properly and tackled the recruitment crisis that is impacting on patient care.”

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