11 March 2020

Figures published today by ISD have shown that almost 2,300 chronic pain patients waited more than a more than four months for treatment.

Between October and December 2019, 1246 people, the equivalent to more than a third of patients seen by chronic pain clinics for their first appointment, had waited more than 18 weeks from their referral.

Furthermore, over 4,700 new patients were still waiting to be seen at the end of December, 1,053 of which had already been waiting over 18 weeks; the total of chronic pain patients left waiting more than four months to start treatment last quarter was 2,299.

Scottish Labour said the fact that so many chronic pain patients wait so long for treatment was a scandal and called for an urgent review.

Commenting, Scottish Labour health spokesperson Monica Lennon said:

“Time and time again we see Scotland’s chronic pain patients being badly let down.

“As a member of the cross-party group on Chronic Pain I have heard heart-breaking testimonies from chronic pain patients and have seen first hand the depths of despair and suicidal thoughts that some of these patients have been driven to for lack of treatment.

“That thousands of patients in chronic pain are anguishing on waiting lists is a scandal.

“The Cabinet Secretary must do all she can to put right this horrendous situation and ensure the most vulnerable in our society have access to treatment when they need it.”
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