Poll

Should the council spend an extra £300,000 on adding microchips to bins? (See full story on this page)

Free Press Commercial Print Stair Estates

Help clear operations backlog, SNP told

A 'TICKING TIMEBOMB' of backlogged operations needs to be addressed by the Scottish Government. Finlay Carson, Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, made the call after figures showed the logjam of operations that have resulted due to the Covid-19 shutdown. Across Scotland, almost 20,000 fewer operations were carried out in June this year than in 2019, with the figures for Dumfries and Galloway Health Board showing 787 fewer patients had operations than 12 months previously, according to the Information Services Division. Dumfries and Galloway Health Board say action is already underway to get services affected by the switch to Covid-19 care back on track. Mr Carson also raised concerns over reports of patients travelling south, at considerable expense, to tackle chronic pain issues. Now, Mr Carson says, SNP Health Secretary Jeane Freeman must ensure Dumfries and Galloway Health Board have the sufficient funding and support in order to carry out operations without any further delays. The Scottish Conservatives and Unionists have also called on the Health Secretary to give a guarantee that the backlog will not mean waiting times targets are routinely missed as they were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr Carson said: “The continued backlog of operations across Dumfries and Galloway Health Board is of huge concern to patients who have already been suffering in recent weeks and months. “While it was right the health board focused on tackling Covid-19, the SNP now need to urgently lay out how the backlog of operations will be tackled to ensure waiting time targets are not routinely missed again. "Right now they are facing a ticking time-bomb when it comes to targets for patients waiting to be seen. “With 787 fewer operations taking place in Dumfries and Galloway than June last year it shows the scale of the challenge they are facing and the SNP Government must ensure they have the sufficient funding and support in place. “It is concerning to hear of patients already travelling south to tackle chronic pain issues as a result of health services restarting more slowly under the SNP. “The safety of patients is paramount, but there still seems to be a real lack of urgency from Jeane Freeman and the SNP to tackle the backlog of operations. “This needs be rectified as a matter of urgency for patients waiting for operations across Dumfries and Galloway." NHS D&G said: "In line with other Board areas, work has been underway on the renewal of non-Covid services. However, this is enormously complicated and it will be a slow journey to renew services step by step, making sure that we balance the risk of Covid infection against the benefit of re-introducing that service. "We are currently focused on re-establishing services for the most urgent cases, including those whose wait for treatment has been extended by this emergency. We are also working with other Boards in the west of Scotland to maximise use of capacity at facilities such as the Golden Jubilee Hospital to undertake procedures. "We are mindful that, every step of the way, we may need to retract services again if we see a second wave of Covid with a significant increase in infections in the community." Colin Smyth, Labour MSP for South Scotland, has also made calls for help from the Scottish Government. “This huge drop in scheduled operations is alarming and painfully difficult for thousands of patients in Dumfries and Galloway. “This is a Scotland-wide issue and the local NHS had little choice but to follow Government guidance. However, the uncomfortable truth is that the Scottish Government's pandemic preparations were inadequate, and the NHS has largely locked down, to the detriment of many patients with other needs. “Thousands of patients have had their operations cancelled, chronic pain clinics are closed, and people are losing hope. A backlog of delayed surgery is snowballing, and new patients fear they'll wait years to be treated. “The SNP's Treatment Time Guarantee wasn't worth the paper it was written on before Covid-19 hit and the only guarantee patients have now is that it will take a very long time to be seen. “The Health Secretary must restart NHS services to ensure that patients get the treatment they desperately need.”

<< back Published: 06 Aug 2020, 13:38

COVID-19 News

How financial support is helping firms adapt

read more >>

Financial support helping companies adapt and innovate

read more >>

Government action at home and abroad helps cope with Covid

read more >>

Protecting jobs and supporting business

read more >>

LOOKING FOR HELP DURING CORONAVIRUS?

read more >>

The news you can trust

read more >>

Extraordinary kindness across our communities

read more >>


 

LOCAL TIDES

Click for your Local Tide Details