Health bosses sorry for patient wait times
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