More than 100 orthopaedic patients left waiting over year for treatment

More than 100 people had been waiting over a year for orthopaedic treatment in Scotland at the end of 2018, Labour has revealed.

A total of 5,961 patients, meanwhile, had been waiting more than 100 days for treatment by December 31.

Neil Findlay MSP requested the latest figures on waiting times for orthopaedic procedures from NHS Scotland.

A response from Health Secretary Jeane Freeman showed 107 people had been forced to wait more than a year for treatment.

The Scottish Government’s waiting time target means no patient should wait more than 12 weeks for treatment.

Mr Findlay said: “This is not just one or two people being let down, this is thousands.

“More than 100 people had to wait over a year to get the procedure they need. That is simply not acceptable in any circumstance.

“Our NHS staff are being starved of the resources they need to give patients the care they deserve.

“In government, Scottish Labour will invest in our health and social care services to give our NHS staff the resources they desperately need.”

Orthopaedics refers to procedures focused on correcting faults with bones or muscle, including disc, hip, shoulder, knee and nerve issues.

The figures came from all of the health boards across NHS Scotland apart from Ayrshire and Arran.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Since the introduction of our treatment time guarantee, more than 1.7 million inpatients and day cases have benefited – with 90% seen within the 12-week target.

“However, some people are waiting too long for treatment.

“That’s why the Health Secretary published the £850 million Waiting Times Improvement Plan to help increase capacity, clinical effectiveness and efficiency, and implement new models of care, while also substantially, sustainably and progressively improving waiting times by spring 2021.

“We’ll continue to work with boards to ensure the additional funding available delivers the substantial and sustainable improvements needed.”