18 June 2019

Thousands of patients were left in pain after key musculoskeletal (MSK) waiting time targets were missed, official figures confirm.

Just 50.5% of 83,787 patients who had a first clinical outpatient appointment were seen within four weeks of referral for quarter ending 31 March 2019, well below the SNP government’s target of 90 per cent.

At the end of the quarter, 58.7 percent of people still to be seen had been waiting more than four weeks, an increase on the 56.3 percent of people waiting at the end of March 2018.

MSK problems can include a diversity of complaints and diseases in areas such as joints, bones, and muscles as well as pre or post-orthopaedic surgery.

Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson, Monica Lennon MSP, said:

“People across the country are being let down by the Health Secretary’s failure to get to grips with waiting times.

“This is not just one or two people being left in pain, this is thousands of people across the country.

“Not only will this have an impact on their wellbeing, this could be preventing people returning to work after surgery.

“We need to see action from the Health Secretary to improve the outcomes for these patients or these targets will not be worth the paper it is written on.”
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