HEALTH: SNP WAITING TIMES ARE A (CHRONIC) PAIN IN THE BUTT

Jackie Baillie MSP and overworked, underpaid nurses in a busy hospital.

By Democrat reporter

The Health Secretary must restore NHS services and ensure chronic pain patients in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll & Bute receive the treatment they need as swiftly as possible, Jackie Baillie MSP has said today.

Statistics published by Public Health Scotland (PHS) recently have revealed that, for the quarter ending 30 June 2020, over half (52.9 per cent) of new chronic pain patients waited over 18 weeks for a first appointment – the percentage for the corresponding quarter last year was 15.4 per cent.

The statistics have also revealed that only 547 patients were seen at a chronic pain clinic in the quarter ending 30 June 2020, a reduction of some 80 per cent on the same quarter last year.

Jackie Baillie has been contacted by constituents desperate to have the clinics started again said these statistics have underlined the necessity for chronic pain services to be restored.

Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh & Lomond said:“I have had local constituents with chronic pain enduring long waiting times before coronavirus and they have been let down badly by the Scottish Government during the pandemic.

“Pain clinics and treatments must be restored urgently.

“With over half of all chronic pain patients waiting over 18 weeks for a first appointment, it is little surprise that so many have been forced to seek treatment outside of Scotland.

“Local people in West Dunbaronshire and Argyll & Bute living with chronic pain conditions must not be forgotten as the NHS emerges from lockdown.

“The Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has been warned that neglecting chronic pain patients is causing misery to thousands of Scots. Getting NHS services up and running must be the Scottish Government’s priority.”

The statistics which support this report are as follows:

  • In the quarter ending 30 June 2020, 547 patients were seen at a chronic pain clinic. This compares to 2,741 in the same quarter in 2019, a reduction of 80%.
  • The length of wait experienced by those waiting for a first appointment has changed. At end of June 2020, 52.9% of patients had been waiting more than 18 weeks. This compares to 15.4% at end of June 2019 and 23% at end of December 2019.
  • In the quarter ending 30 June 2020, 1,501 new patients were referred to a chronic pain clinic. This compares to 4,972 in the same quarter in 2019, a reduction of 69.8%.

Data available from Public Health Scotland: https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/healthcare-resources/waiting-times/chronic-pain-waiting-times/

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