Tooth­pick tale sets off row over NHS de­lays

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has been lam­basted for lengthy NHS de­lays after a man con­fessed to us­ing a tooth pick to un­block his ear.

The Re­former re­vealed two weeks ago that Alexan­der Innes was told to wait for eight weeks to have his ear ir­ri­gated at Cam­bus­lang Clinic.

And fol­low­ing the story peo­ple have taken to so­cial me­dia to say that Mr Innes is not alone.

Glenn Jamieson wrote on Face­book: “Got to agree here. I had the same is­sue with my ears and ended up us­ing a tooth pick to un­block them. I could have eas­ily bust the drum.

“Not the best idea but des­per­ate times call for des­per­ate mea­sures.”

MSP James Kelly said Glenn is one of many peo­ple who are fed up with long wait­ing times for NHS treat­ment. He said he reg­u­larly hears sto­ries from lo­cal pa­tients about in­creas­ing wait­ing times.

The Labour MSP said: “The SNP’s record on the NHS is shame­ful. This is ex­em­pli­fied by the case high­lighted in the Re­former.

“Time and time again lo­cal peo­ple are los­ing out be­cause the SNP have spent the last ten years in power let­ting down our most im­por­tant pub­lic ser­vices.

“I’ve chal­lenged Shona Ro­bi­son and I want her to know how poor her run­ning of the NHS is. The SNP need to wake up to the re­al­ity of a decade in power and how dis­as­trous their record is.”

But the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment said its new The Mod­ern Out­pa­tient strat­egy will ad­dress these prob­lems.

This pro­poses that some pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly those who are wait­ing for a rou­tine check-up or test re­sults, would be seen closer to home by a team of com­mu­nity health­care pro­fes­sion­als with close links to hos­pi­tal de­part­ments.

It also vows to make bet­ter use of e-con­sul­ta­tions and says ac­tion will be taken to re­duce the num­ber of un­nec­es­sary re­fer­rals.

Health sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son said: “We re­main com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing pa­tients get quick ac­cess to the ser­vices they re­quire.

“We an­nounced an ex­tra £10 mil­lion to de­liver 40,000 more out­pa­tient ap­point­ments be­tween Novem­ber 2016 and March 2017 and have also pro­vided an ad­di­tional £50 mil­lion to im­prove wait­ing times at all stages of a pa­tient’s jour­ney through the NHS.

“In December 2016 we pub­lished a new strat­egy for re­spond­ing to the ris­ing de­mand in out­pa­tient ap­point­ments, aim­ing to free up 400,000 ap­point­ments.

“We have re­cently com­pleted the con­sul­ta­tion ex­er­cise and will be push­ing ahead with this over the next year.

“To meet in­creas­ing de­mand we are in­vest­ing £200 mil­lion in a net­work of five new elec­tive treat­ment cen­tres across Scot­land as well as ex­pand­ing the Golden Jubilee Na­tional Hos­pi­tal.

“These will en­able peo­ple to be treated more quickly for planned surgery while eas­ing pres­sure on un­planned and emer­gency treat­ment.”

Com­plaint Alexan­der Innes

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