NHS patients and staff deserve better after new figures showed the number of people waiting longer than 18 weeks for chronic pain treatment has risen by 82% during 2016.
Figures published by ISD Scotland show that two out of five patients waiting for chronic pain treatment were not seen within the 18 week standard between July and September 2016. This amounted to 1,057 patients waiting over 18 weeks, compared to 580 in the quarter ending December 2015.
The number of people still on the waiting list and who have been there over 18 weeks has also tripled.
These findings are incredibly concerning. Two out of five patients are now waiting longer than 18 weeks to receive chronic pain treatment.
Across Scotland there is great disparity in waiting times, specialist staff and services. NHS patients and staff deserve better.
The Health Secretary owes them an explanation as to how she is going to ensure health boards are supported to turn this around and meet waiting time expectations in future.