Mid Scotland & Fife MSP, Dean Lockhart is urging Scottish Government ministers to do more to ensure those suffering from chronic pain are seen quicker after the latest statistics released by the NHS shoe Forth Valley patients waiting times are increasing.
The latest figures are to the end of March this year. Almost two thirds of patients seen (135 out of 206) waited more than 18 weeks- the SNP’s target waiting time. This is up from 55% in March 2020.
Over a fifth of patients waiting on a first appointment waited more than 18 weeks. This is up from 16 per cent in March 2020.
The total number of patients awaiting a first appointment to either the Pain Clinic or the pain Psychology unit ( Pain management) was 354 at the end of March 2021.
The Pain clinic is defined as the service into which an individual is referred for chronic pain assessment/management. The Psychological therapy service is to assist people with the management of chronic pain.
These worrying figures are released just after the statistics revealing the treatment backlog that showed In the NHS Forth Valley region only 805 operations taking place in April, compared to the 1082 that were carried out February 2020 , representing a 25% decrease in operations carried out since prior to the Covid crisis.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
"These are really worrying figures and further demonstrate the huge backlog of treatments and assessments that have built up in the past months.
"Suffering from chronic pain is awful and effects peoples quality of life in every way.
"It is something that many people suffer and they have to be a priority for assessment to ensure they get the right help to manage pain that can have such a huge impact on their physical and mental health.
"Where is the urgency from the Scottish Government, where are the definite plans to support our NHS to get these issues tackled properly?"