By Lucy Ashton

A slate of new figures exposing the growing chaos in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has sparked fresh calls from Jackie Baillie for action.

Waiting lists have soared again, with a staggering 148,465 waiting on new outpatient appointments across the region. This figure has increased by almost 10 percent in the last year alone.

Shockingly 10,279 of those on the waiting list for a new outpatient appointment have been waiting for more than a year and 12,916 on the waiting list for an inpatient or day procedure have been waiting for 52 weeks or longer.

There is little sign of improvement as latest statistics show that in July the number of operations scheduled across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde plummeted by more than 11.5 percent compared to July 2019.

Another report shows the NHS workforce crisis is continuing to pile pressure on, with almost 1161 nursing and midwifery positions lying vacant across the NHSGGC region.

Delayed discharge rose again in July, with 1126 bed days lost to patients stuck in hospital needlessly in Argyll and Bute and 1162 in West Dunbartonshire.

Consequently, A&E remained in chaos for another month, with just 71.4 percent being seen within the four-hour target time at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital’s A&E unit, down from 79.1 percent at the end of January this year.

Meanwhile, during a meeting of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board last week long waits for cancer treatment were also revealed. Performance against the 62-day waiting times target for cancer within the region has fallen from 64.2 percent in May 2023 to 62 percent in June 2023. This is far lower than the Scottish average of 72 percent.

Remarkably, less than a third (28.7 percent) of eligible referrals for urology started treatment within 62 days and 38.5 percent of eligible colorectal referrals started treatment within 62 days of referral.

Dumbarton constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, right, said: “Our NHS is on life support, but the SNP is standing idly by while this crisis spirals out of control.

“Thousands of people across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region, which includes West Dunbartonshire, Helensburgh and Lomond are stuck on waiting lists, many of them languishing in limbo for more than a year. Catch-up efforts though haven’t worked as the number of operations has plummeted.

“People waiting on treatment for cancer in the area has also risen and is far higher across Greater Glasgow and Clyde than the national average meaning that patients here are worse off than those in other parts of Scotland.
“Incredible NHS staff have been working tirelessly to keep services going and to keep patients safe but they have been abandoned by this negligent government and vacancies across the local area remain high.
“The dangerous chaos engulfing A&E is still going strong and hundreds of people are stuck in hospital when they could be discharged, driving this vicious NHS cycle.
“This disastrous SNP government has put lives at risk and undermined the very principles of our NHS, tinkering around the edges while things decline.
“We need a real workforce plan to support our dedicated NHS staff and tackle the sky-high vacancies currently wreaking havoc.
“There must be a proper catch up plan to drive down these shameful waiting lists, urgent action to end the constant crisis in A&E and support for our struggling social care system in order to tackle delayed discharge.”

Vale of Leven Hospital and a patient who managed to get a date for her treatment. Top picture, the RAH in Paisley.

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