Health bosses sorry for pa­tient wait times

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Lor­raine Weir

Health chiefs have is­sued an apol­ogy to pa­tients across Dum­bar­ton, the Vale and Bal­loch hav­ing to wait for months in pain for or­thopaedic ap­point­ments.

NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde said sorry to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, some of whom were left wait­ing for al­most a year, while an ap­point­ment was found for them.

The health board ad­mit­ted that the ma­jor­ity of pa­tients are seen within their “guar­an­teed time of 12 weeks” but that some are left wait­ing longer.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment fig­ures, around 1800 pa­tients across Greater Glas­gow and Clyde are wait­ing for more than three months.

A spokes­woman for NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde health board said: “Pa­tients in West Dun­bar­ton­shire are re­ferred to the Vale of Leven Hos­pi­tal for or­thopaedic out­pa­tient ap­point­ments.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of our pa­tients are seen, ap­pro­pri­ate tests un­der­taken and treat­ment started within their guar­an­teed time of 12 weeks.

“Un­for­tu­nately a num­ber of pa­tients await­ing or­thopaedics ap­point­ments are wait­ing longer than we would like and we apol­o­gise for this.

“The board has put a num­ber of mea­sures in place to al­le­vi­ate this and we are work­ing with col­leagues in hos­pi­tals across the board area to of­fer pa­tients the ear­li­est avail­able date.”

Dum­bar­ton MSP Jackie Bail­lie has been in­un­dated with com­plaints from con­stituents 030417VOLH_CUTS_011 fac­ing lengthy waits while suf­fer­ing from se­ri­ous, painful con­di­tions.

She said: “The time that lo­cal pa­tients are wait­ing for or­thopaedics ap­point­ments and treat­ment is a dis­grace.

“I have spo­ken to many lo­cal pa­tients who have been stuck on wait­ing lists for al­most a year for hip and knee op­er­a­tions.

“In the past NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde would re­fer lo­cal pa­tients to the Golden Ju­bilee in Dal­muir to help re­duce wait­ing times.

“Un­for­tu­nately this does not seem to be an op­tion for many pa­tients due to the se­vere fi­nan­cial pres­sures faced by the health board.”

We re­vealed in March how a Cardross grand­dad said that his life was on hold after he waited seven months for vi­tal knee surgery de­spite be­ing promised to be seen within 12 weeks.

The 70-year-old told the Len­nox Her­ald how he couldn’t make plans to see his grand­chil­dren who stay in Ire­land for fear of miss­ing his ap­point­ment or hav­ing to can­cel his trip at the last minute.

When it was first con­firmed that he would be put for­ward for a knee re­place­ment last Au­gust, the pen­sioner was sent a leaflet from the health board say­ing the op­er­a­tion would be car­ried out within 12 weeks. But he was left wait­ing un­til late Fe­bru­ary. The Len­nox Her­ald can also re­veal pa­tients are fac­ing an av­er­age of 10 weeks be­fore be­ing given a phys­io­ther­apy ap­point­ment.

Around 600 peo­ple in West Dun­bar­ton­shire are re­ferred for a phys­io­ther­apy treat­ment with ap­point­ments al­lo­cated on the ba­sis of “clin­i­cal need”, ac­cord­ing to the health board.

A spokes­woman added: “Most ur­gent pa­tients are seen within four weeks.

“The re­main­ing pa­tients are seen as quickly as pos­si­ble with an av­er­age wait of 10 weeks.

“Con­sid­er­able work has been done to make the ser­vice as ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble and we have in­tro­duced a cen­tral re­fer­ral man­age­ment cen­tre to en­sure all ap­point­ment slots are filled and can­cel­la­tions are utilised across NHS Greater Glas­gow and Clyde.”

The health board con­firmed that they have launched text re­minders to en­sure pa­tients at­tend for ar­ranged ap­point­ments so these slots aren’t lost.

Con­cerns Jackie Bail­lie MSP

Wait times Hos­pi­tal Vale of Leven

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