£32 million to help cut NHS waiting times
Health board funding announced by Health Secretary.
The NHS will receive a further £32 million to help reduce waiting times.
The investment is in addition to £70 million funding announced by the Health Secretary in April and brings the amount being spent on the Waiting Times Improvement Plan for 2019-20 to £102 million. The £102 million is part of the £850 million set aside to support the delivery of the plan over a three-year period.
The investment will help deliver additional clinics and extra staff. It will also facilitate an increase in cataract procedures, hip and knee replacements and general surgery.
Construction has started on the £15 million expansion of the ophthalmology unit at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow and NHS Highland is expected to start work on the £36 million North of Scotland Elective Centre by the end of 2019.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman made the announcement during a visit to the Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline, where NHS Fife has adopted a range of innovative approaches to reduce waiting times.
These include diagnostic and surveillance tests for local endoscopy patients as well as those from NHS Lothian and NHS Forth Valley, and the introduction of a ‘Jack and Jill’ theatre to cut waiting times for cataract patients. This allows a surgeon to work simultaneously across two adjoining theatres.
After visiting the departments, Ms Freeman said:
“I am pleased to see the difference the developments here are making to patients in Fife and beyond.
“The investment I am announcing today comes on top of the £70 million outlined in April this year.
“It is good to see that funding is making a tangible difference in hospitals such as the Queen Margaret and I am determined that should be the case across Scotland.
“Our Waiting Times Improvement Plan will also see the creation of new elective and diagnostic centres, leading to quicker appointments in planned surgery, taking pressure off emergency treatment.
“We will continue to ensure the additional funding delivers the substantial and sustainable improvements needed.”
The Waiting Times Improvement Plan was announced in October 2018 and directs more than £850 million to substantially and sustainably improve waiting times by spring 2021.
An initial £26.7 million was allocated to all territorial NHS Boards and the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in 2018-19.