South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that 82 per cent of patients in NHS Dumfries and Galloway waited more than 12 weeks for treatment at a chronic pain centre.
Latest figures from the Scottish Government’s data and intelligence division show that in the three months to 31 December 2020, 79 people were seen in total, with 82 per cent waiting more than 12 weeks and almost half (48 per cent) waiting more than 40 weeks.
The number of referrals to pain clinics in the health board area was down by 41% in December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
Covid-19 meant many NHS clinics and appointments were cancelled during lockdown, however, Colin Smyth has expressed concern about the pressures this backlog will have on an NHS still dealing with the virus.
Colin Smyth said: “These figures are shocking. To wait months for treatment at a chronic pain centre is completely unacceptable.
“The latest Covid-19 restrictions have meant that many NHS clinics and appointments have been postponed or cancelled while our fantastic NHS battled with the most recent upsurge in Covid cases.
“However, as more and more services restart, this backlog of patients will undoubtedly put more pressure on an NHS already under considerable strain from dealing with the ongoing pandemic.
“We also shouldn’t forget that chronic pain is a serious and life changing condition for many people and everything must be done to ensure these waiting times are driven down as quickly and safely as possible.”