Stewart asks for answers on Chronic Pain waiting times

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, David Stewart, has contacted both NHS Highland and the Scottish Government to ask what is being done to bring down the unacceptably long waiting times for people in the Highlands to be seen by the Chronic Pain service.

David Stewart said “This issue has been raised with me before, and has now been raised again.  I have been advised that there are very long waiting times for first appointments and that in some cases there can be more than a year’s wait for follow up appointments.

“I raised this initially with NHS Highland who have acknowledged that the demand for the service is very high with an increase in the number of referrals into this service leading to increased waiting times.  The health board has advised that it is currently undertaking a strategic review of the service and I await the outcome of this review with interest.

Mr Stewart continued “I have also been advised however that there is a shortage of Consultants in Chronic Pain nationally, which is escalating the problem, and I have written to the Scottish Government asking what they are doing to rectify this situation.

Mr Stewart concluded “While I welcome the review being undertaken, this will be of little comfort to those in the Highlands who are suffering from chronic pain and are waiting much too long for treatment.  Chronic pain affects not only the sufferer’s private life, but can also impact on their ability to work while they wait for treatment.  We need to see waiting times lowered and the Scottish Government must step in to help struggling health boards.”