Liz Smith MSP calls on SNP Government to address 'concerning' waiting times for chronic pain patients in Tayside

Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith has described the percentage of chronic pain patients in Tayside having to wait more than 18 weeks to be seen as “very concerning.”

The politician was reacting to figures released by ISD Scotland, which reveal that almost 70% of patients suffering from chronic pain in the NHS Tayside board area have had to wait more than 18 weeks for their first appointment at a patient clinic – the average in Scotland is 52.9%.

Over 2,100 such patients across Scotland are now failing to be seen for the first time within the SNP’s own target waiting time of 18 weeks.

Only last month it was revealed that the situation has become so bad for some patients in Scotland that they have had to travel to England for vital operations.

Commenting, Liz Smith MSP, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “Having 69.8% of patients in Tayside who are in chronic pain waiting more than 18 weeks to be seen for treatment is very concerning indeed.

“This means that there are a huge number of people lying in agony not knowing when treatment will start. This is not good enough - the SNP Government need to get a grip on this and urgently outline plans to deal with this backlog.

“With health services up and running again, the SNP Government need to make tackling chronic pain one of their main priorities. It is time they addressed this issue.”