Cole-Hamilton: action needed to cut physiotherapy waiting times

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today called for action to cut waiting times for physiotherapy and other musculoskeletal services provided by allied health professionals.

Mr Cole-Hamilton was speaking as new data showed that just half of patients referred for physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropody/podiatry or orthotics were seen within a new four week waiting time target in the first quarter of 2016.

In Ayrshire and Arran, 24.9% of patients referred for treatment waited more than 16 weeks to be seen. In Glasgow, 22.3% of patients had to wait for this length of time. 

Across the health board areas surveyed, 10% of patients referred for physiotherapy services waited 18 weeks or more to be seen.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

"Physiotherapists and other allied health professionals perform a vital role in helping people recover from operations and help people struggling with any number of other conditions. Waiting months on end to receive treatment for something like tendon or ligament damage must feel like a lifetime. These are conditions that have a huge impact on people's quality of life.

"A quarter of patients in Ayrshire and Arran were forced to wait more than 16 weeks for treatment. In Glasgow, more than 20% of people referred for care waited more than four months to be seen. We need to get these waiting times down."

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