£10 million for outpatients
Funding to reduce hospital appointment waiting times
Over £10 million of additional funding is being allocated to health boards to support improvements in first outpatient waiting times.
The investment will allow the NHS to see thousands of patients that are waiting for an appointment more quickly, as well as helping to build additional capacity into the system ahead of winter.
It will fund an estimated 40,000 additional outpatient appointments across Scotland over the next few months, in areas such as orthopaedics, ophthalmology and gastroenterology.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “It is important to us that people are seen as quickly as possible when they are waiting for a hospital appointment. This £10 million investment is designed to get those patients who are currently waiting for a first appointment, and potentially a diagnosis, seen more quickly.
“It will also help to reduce waiting lists and help ease pressure on our outpatient services as we head in to winter.
“Demand has increased, with a 13.2% increase in outpatient activity under this Government. When I speak to staff on the frontline they stress to me just how important good planning can ensure waiting lists are managed effectively.
“That is why, as well as these short-term measures, we are also developing a long-term strategy to transform our outpatient care which will be published shortly.
“This will complement work on our new £200 million network of diagnostic and elective treatment centres to be delivered over the next few years – helping the NHS to meet the demands of the future.”