Moray MP criticises long wait for orthopaedic appointments

Moray MP Douglas Ross has called on NHS Grampian to improve its orthopaedic services as a matter of urgency to deal with growing waiting lists.

Douglas said: “I recently wrote to the acting Chief Executive of NHS Grampian on behalf of a Moray resident who was referred by his GP to see an orthopaedic consultant, but he has been told that he will have to wait at least 10 months for an appointment.

“It is simply unacceptable that patients, many of whom are in constant pain, face these delays. Added to that, once they eventually get a first appointment to see a consultant they can then face even more delays before they finally get the treatment they need.

“In my constituent’s case, a knee injury has left him unable to walk yet he has been told that it will be at least 40 weeks before he will get an appointment to see a consultant.”

In their response to Douglas, NHS Grampian admitted that orthopaedics is one of the specialities where they have considerable challenges in meeting the Scottish Government’s access targets.

Douglas commented: “The SNP Scottish Government’s target makes it clear that patients should wait no longer than 12 weeks after referral for a new outpatient appointment at a consultant-led clinic, so clearly NHS Grampian is failing its patients in spectacular fashion by forcing them to wait more than 40 weeks to see an orthopaedic consultant.

“Added to that, the reply from NHS Grampian also states that the number of referrals it receives each week for orthopaedic appointments is double the number of new appointments they can offer, which suggests that the waiting lists are going to get worse before it gets better.

“It’s time for the Scottish Government to step up to ensure that its own targets are being achieved by providing the funding that NHS Grampian clearly needs to provide a service that local people deserve. These outrageous waiting lists need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”