Over 2,100 extra operations have been carried out using spare
NHS and private sector capacity in the first quarter of this year,
as a result of the Scottish executive’s drive to cut
unacceptably long waiting times.
Health minister Malcolm Chisholm said that national investment
to tackle waiting times was now ‘more co-ordinated, more
focused, and more closely linked to reform than ever
Since January, the national waiting times unit has facilitated
an estimated 2,000 operations from spare private sector healthcare
capacity on behalf of the NHS, and completed half of its planned
visits to all 15 NHS board areas to ensure local action plans are
completed by June.
The unit’s work has resulted in a 34 per cent reduction in
the number of patients waiting more than six months for acute in
patient care and day case treatment in Argyle and Bute. There are
also reductions of 31 per cent in Lanarkshire, 20 per cent in
Tayside, 20 per cent in north Glasgow and at Yorkhill
Chisholm said: “The unit, in working with local NHS systems, has
helped increase NHS activity in the first quarter of 2002 –
and early indications from the service are that this has achieved
demonstrable results in reducing the number of patients waiting
long times for treatment.
“As I said when we launched the unit, this has been a practical
and pragmatic exercise, not an ideological one,” he added.