WAITING TIMES

Baillie says waiting times for diagnosis are unacceptable

Jackie Baillie and Vale of Leven Hospital where test results take five weeks.

By Lucy Ashton

Jackie Baillie MSP has branded waiting times for key diagnostic tests for conditions such as cancer, as completely unacceptable, as new figures reveal almost 19,000 cases were taking longer than they should have.

The most recent data shows that 78.1 per cent of patients waiting for key diagnostic tests in September had been waiting less than six weeks. In Greater Glasgow and Clyde patients are waiting even longer than the national average as just 75 per cent of patients waiting for key diagnostic tests in September had been waiting less than six weeks. The figures show that more than 6,000 patients had been waiting longer than they should have.

On top of the lengthy wait for the initial tests, patients in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are routinely waiting for five weeks or more to receive the results of these diagnostic tests.

One patient from Dumbarton had a hip x-ray at the Vale of Leven Hospital, after five weeks of waiting without receiving the results, he phoned the health board and was told that he could wait another 8 weeks for the results due to a backlog.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde have outsourced their diagnostic image reporting to private company, Medica, due to chronic staff shortages.

The MSP said: “Chronic underfunding is crippling our NHS and is putting extreme pressure on our hard-working staff. Patients are waiting months, in pain, for key tests and then are being asked to wait even longer to receive the results.

“Waiting times targets for key diagnostic tests are simply not being met which is having an adverse impact on patients. These targets are in place to ensure that people with potentially serious conditions get the benefit of early detection and treatment so that they have the best possible chance of a full recovery.

“The SNP must urgently start giving our NHS the support that it needs.”

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