Some patients in the Lothians have been asked to wait 44 weeks for orthopaedic treatment, a letter has revealed

A concerned member of the public has contacted Neil Findlay MSP to inform him of their situation after seeking treatment for an orthopaedic condition in Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary.

The standard waiting time for a new patient appointment in orthopaedics is 12 weeks from the date NHS Lothian receives the referral. The patient in question has been asked to wait more than three times that duration to receive an appointment.

In a letter from Simon Dunn, the Deputy Associate Nurse Director at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, the patient was told:

‘I can confirm that you were added to our outpatient waiting list on 10 November 2017. The current waiting times standard for a new patient appointment is 12 weeks from the date NHS Lothian receives your referral. Unfortunately, due to the increasing numbers of patient referrals to the service, this has resulted in more people needing to be seen and an increase in the length of waiting times for an outpatient appointment. This currently means that you might have to wait up to 44 weeks from the date you were initially referred. I am therefore very sorry that as a result of this, and despite significant efforts by the service to limit waiting times, we are regrettably unable to meet the target in this instance.’

Lothian Labour MSP Neil Findlay said:

“This patient has had to wait more than three times the recommended duration just to get an orthopaedic appointment. In that time they have been left with worry and pain, not knowing when they will be able to get the treatment they require.

“The NHS is clearly under a lot of pressure due to ongoing funding cuts, and I completely understand the situation many wards find themselves in -; but we cannot leave people waiting this long when they are in pain and distress

“This is another concerning example, having heard recently of the shortage of GPs in Lothian, of how the general public are not receiving the service they deserve and the blame must lay firmly at the feet of the Scottish Government”

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