Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has welcomed figures showing improvements in our NHS. The study by ISD Scotland showed that:
- More than 90 per cent of patients in Scotland are being treated in 18 weeks or less from initial referral.
- 92,093 or 98.7 per cent of patients were treated under the new legal 12 weeks guarantee.
- The waiting time target for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) services has been met early.
- The discharge hub established in Hairmyres Hospital has seen an average reduction of around 20 patients per day who would previously have been in Hairmyres Hospital pending access to home care.
- In 2010 and 2011 23 per cent of people diagnosed with breast, colorectal or lung cancer were picked up at the earliest stage (stage one).
“Managing the NHS is incredibly difficult and we can never be complacent. These figures show the hard work and dedication of NHS staff and the Scottish Government to deliver a NHS which serves the needs of people of Scotland. Successive SNP Governments have lowered waiting times dramatically, from inheriting a maximum waiting time of 6 months to get an appointment in 2007 to over 90 per cent of patients being treated within 18 weeks or less today. The figures also show that the waiting time target for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) services has been met early. In the period up to March 2013, 96 per cent of people were seen within 26 weeks, with over half of patients seen within seven weeks. Patient satisfaction with management of waiting times is very high – and that is because of the Scottish Government’s commitment to openness, transparency, and investment in Scotland’s NHS.
“Our A&E departments continue to face pressures, particularly during winter and with an ever aging population. The figures show number of people attending A&E who were seen and treated within four hours reached 91.9 per cent for March 2013, but we must still do more. The Scottish Government has announced it will oversee a task force to lead a programme of improvements worth £50m for patients arriving at hospital for unscheduled, emergency care.
“Although Westminster continues to slash the Scottish Budget, we have taken the decision to protect Scotland’s Health Budget meaning we can invest in the NHS, while Westminster looks towards further privatisation and cost cutting. For example this week, Health Secretary Alex Neil has announced that an extra 2,700 operations are set to take place each year at the Golden Jubilee following a £1.7 million a year investment to help manage future increases in demand. This shows what can be achieved by an NHS in public hands. Our NHS is safe and successful in Scottish hands and the SNP are utterly determined not to follow the ill-considered privatisation agenda being pursued south of the border.
“I am still closely monitoring the care and dignity of older people entering Hairmyres Hospital for treatment. I am pleased the Health Secretary is bringing forward a bill to ensure that the health and social care systems work together effectively to improve the provision of care for our older people. The new Bill will integrate NHS and local authority budgets to help to reduce unnecessary delays that keep older people in hospital longer than needed and increase the amount of care that can be provided at home. Bringing health and social care together in this way improve care for people in communities, helping to anticipate their needs and reaching them before they need to be admitted to hospital or institutional care.
“Local integrated arrangements between Health Boards and Councils will be able to shape services to best meet the care needs of their local populations. A discharge hub has been established in Hairmyres Hospital to reduce the delays experienced by people who required additional services before they can be discharged home. It brings together a multidisciplinary and multi-agency team to assess support needs for patients and carers, and arrange for faster and more streamlined discharge. Since being established it has seen an average reduction of around 20 patients per day who would previously have been in Hairmyres Hospital pending access to home care.
“There is also good news for the Detect Cancer Early programme with almost one quarter of cancers being detected at the earliest possible stage, according to figures released today. Statistics show that in 2010 and 2011 23 per cent of people diagnosed with breast, colorectal or lung cancer were picked up at the earliest stage (stage one). The Detect Cancer Early programme aims to increase the proportion of cancers detected at the earliest stage by 25 per cent by the end of the parliamentary term. The breast cancer drive saw the number of women going to their GP with breast symptoms increase by 50 per cent and I hope the recently launched bowel cancer campaign and soon to be launched lung cancer drive have a similar impact.
“Health Boards have been asked to have an action plan in place by the end of this year to improve local services for those suffering from chronic pain and to deliver faster access to the therapies that can help people to manage their pain and improve their quality of life. A public consultation will be held in the summer to seek patients’ views on how the residential service should be delivered for the over 700,000 people in Scotland with chronic pain, including plans to establish a specialist intensive pain management residential service and increase access to therapies for people in Scotland.
“We can always improve the NHS, but these figures and the reports I hear from constituents, clearly show we are moving in the right direction.”
Waiting Times statistics can be viewed at www.isdscotland.org
Figures published by ISD show that 90.6 per cent of patients whose entire journey could be measured were seen and treated within 18 weeks from initial GP referral to start of treatment.
The figures also show that 92,093 or 98.7 per cent of patients were treated under the new legal guarantee. The guarantee means that patients have a legal right to receive treatment within a maximum of 12 weeks from when they are diagnosed and agree to that treatment.
Through the £50 million Unscheduled Care Action Plan the Scottish Government, NHS Boards, Royal Colleges and other partners are taking action to strengthen unscheduled care in Scotland with a priority focus on the flow of patients through the whole system.
The Unscheduled Care Action Plan will:
• Change the way that people are seen when they are admitted to hospital to make sure that they are treated as fast as possible;
• Look at how staff work so that people can leave hospital as soon as they are ready;
• Improve links with other areas of healthcare so that support is in place for people to be treated in the community if possible.
Jim Crombie, seconded from NHS Glasgow is the Scottish Government’s new National Programme Director for Unscheduled Care. At NHS Glasgow, consistently one of Boards with lowest wait times, Mr Crombie is director of surgery and anaesthesia.
The investment for the Golden Jubilee funds the recruitment of additional consultants and other clinical staff as well as increasing bed and theatre capacity.
The extra 2400 cataracts operations per year represents an increase of 200 per cent of current Golden Jubilee capacity and the extra 300 orthopaedics cases represent an increase of 10 per cent in current capacity.
The Waiting Times and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Waiting Times statistics can be viewed at www.isdscotland.org
The Detect Cancer Early Baseline statistics can be viewed at www.isdscotland.org
The full Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Bill can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/63845.aspx
• During 2012-13 a total of 17 patients received NHS treatment in the Bath Chronic Pain Centre.
• The consultation will seek views on a range of options for delivering this service. These will include a national centre, a service that will move around Scotland or retaining the current service with Bath Chronic Pain Centre.
• The consultation is planned for launch in early July and will run until September, with a final decision announced later in the Autumn.