21 July 2019

New figures have revealed that chronic pain patients are receiving just £27,000 of a £535 million SNP government fund to improve waiting times.

The SNP government admitted that chronic pain had been allocated a tiny fraction of the improvement fund in an answer to a parliamentary question by Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Monica Lennon.

Chronic pain waiting times are one of the worst performing specialisms, with over a third of chronic pain patients having to wait over 18 weeks to be seen at their first appointment.

The waiting time target for chronic pain has never been met since regular reporting began in 2015.

Scottish Labour has called for a review of chronic pain waiting times, and warned that more resources are needed to improve performance.

Scottish Labour Health Spokesperson Monica Lennon MSP said:

“The target for chronic pain waiting times has never been met since it was introduced, with over a third of patients having to wait longer than four months to be seen for an initial appointment.

“So it’s completely baffling that such a small amount – less than half a percent - of the £535 million fund to improve waiting times is being spent on chronic pain.

“The thousands of Scots who are waiting, in pain, for months on end surely deserve better than this.

“The Health Secretary clearly needs to get a grip on chronic pain waiting times and provide answers about why more money is not being spent to improve them.

“That’s why Scottish Labour has been consistently calling for review of what’s going wrong, because, after 12 years of SNP government, it’s simply unacceptable that chronic pain waiting times are showing no signs of improvement.”

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