To ask the Scottish Executive what alternative services are available to patients with scoliosis who cannot be treated by the national scoliosis service within the 12-week national standard.
There are very few centres in the UK able to undertake specialised scoliosis surgery. The Scottish specialist spinal deformity service has made significant progress in reducing its overall waiting times, but there continue to be extended inpatient waiting times. It is not possible to offer the treatment elsewhere within the United Kingdom within a shorter wait. Average waiting times in specialist centres in England also extend beyond waiting time guarantees, and currently there is no capacity available within English NHS providers to accept referrals for patients from Scotland. We will therefore continue to focus on reducing waiting times in Scotland.