Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has revealed that 84 per cent of patients in NHS Ayrshire and Arran waited more than a year 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, 112 people were seen in total, with 84 per cent waiting 52+ weeks.

The number of referrals to pain clinics in the health board area was down by 58% in December 2020, compared to the same period in 2019 (versus a Scottish average of 25%).

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 more than a year 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.”

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