McArthur: Isles patients forced to wait too long for orthopaedic appointments

Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today urged the Scottish Government to take urgent steps to tackle “unacceptable” delays in some NHS waiting times. 

A recent freedom of information request revealed that 139 patients in Orkney have waited more than 12 weeks for orthapaedic and trauma care, breaching the government’s own target and prompting Mr McArthur to write to the Health Secretary, Shona Robison MSP expressing concern about the impact these delays are having on treatment of isles patients.

Responding to Mr McArthur’s letter, the Health Secretary admitted there was “significant capacity issues in [NHS] Grampian leading to Orkney patients waiting longer than I would expect.”

Ms Robison went on to confirm that NHS Orkney would receive £240,000 and NHS Grampian £4.9 million as part of a national package aimed at reducing waiting time delays.

Commenting, Mr McArthur said:

“I have been contacted by a number of constituents affected by these delays in treatment. While the government’s target for an appointment with an orthopaedic consultant is twelve weeks, many Orkney patients have been waiting considerably longer. That is simply not good enough.

“The Health Secretary admits there is an obvious lack of capacity in this key area of NHS provision and the additional resources she refers to are welcome. However, what patients in Orkney want to know is when will these gaps be filled so that we see an end to the sort of unacceptable delays being experienced at present.

“Patients and staff have a right to expect better. That is something I will continue to pursue with government ministers as well as the health boards in Orkney and Grampian over the coming months”.


Notes to editor:

In response to Mr McArthur’s freedom of information request, NHS Orkney confirmed that 139 patients in Orkney were waiting to see a consultant out with the recommend timeframe (12 weeks) for orthapaedic and trauma care.

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