North-east pa­tients face long cataract care de­lays

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - LOCAL NEWS -

Thou­sands of eye pa­tients face long de­lays for cataract op­er­a­tions across Scot­land, it emerged yes­ter­day.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment says pa­tients should be booked in for treat­ment within 12 weeks. Al­most a quar­ter of pa­tients have had to wait longer in the past year. One Grampian res­i­dent waited 546 days.

Only pa­tients in Loth­ian, Shet­land and the Bor­ders were treated on time.

Yes­ter­day Mo­ray Con­ser­va­tive MP Dou­glas Ross said: “It is shock­ing that pa­tients in Mo­ray and the north-east who need eye surgery have to wait up to a year-and-a-half.

“Many cataract pa­tients are el­derly and their sight is ex­tremely im­por­tant.”

Oph­thal­mol­ogy fig­ures from the NHS In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices Divi­sion Scot­land show 34,261 pa­tients have been on the wait­ing list over the past year – with 8,796 wait­ing more than 12 weeks for an ap­point­ment.

Alas­dair Pat­tin­son, gen­eral man­ager at Dr Gray’s Hos­pi­tal, El­gin, said: “We have ex­pe­ri­enced chal­lenges in find­ing con­sul­tant staff to fill va­can­cies in oph­thal­mol­ogy at Dr Gray’s Hos­pi­tal for a num­ber of years. We are de­ter­mined, how­ever, to main­tain ser­vices.”

One Grampian res­i­dent waited 546 days for treat­ment

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