Hospital Waiting Times

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 24th March 2021.

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Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

We are working with all health boards with specific targeted actions to reduce hospital waiting times. That includes the investment of additional resources. Some £60 million will directly support elective care. That will be progressed in the context of the framework for clinical prioritisation that I published in November 2020.

There is also additional investment to increase diagnostic capacity, with three computed tomography scanners, ensuring access across all regions. We have developed Scotland’s first ever early cancer diagnostics centres, with three pilots due to come on stream by summer. There is also, as Mr Kelly knows, the continued expansion of our elective centres: NHS Golden Jubilee hospital’s phase 1 expansion, which supports eye care and orthopaedics, is complete and patients are now being treated.

I make the additional point that, as we remobilise our national health service, we must recognise that for more than 15 months many of its staff have worked tirelessly—as they are still doing—in pressured conditions that have taken a physical and emotional toll on them. As we plan the recovery of the service, we must understand that its staff are our greatest single resource and that we must allow time for them to recover so that they can continue to do the important work that we need them to do and that we ask of them.