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26.07.19

Scottish Government to provide £32m to help cut NHS waiting times

The NHS will receive a further £32m from the Scottish Government to help reduce waiting times, the cabinet health secretary Jeane Freeman has announced.

The funds are in addition to the £70m funding announced in April and brings the amount spent on the Waiting Times Improvement Plan for 2019-20 to £102m. This investment forms part of the £850m set aside to support the delivery of the plan over a three-year period.

It will help to deliver additional clinics and extra staff, as well as facilitate an increase in cataract procedures, hip and knee replacements and general surgery.

Construction has started on the £15m expansion of the ophthalmology unit at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Glasgow, and NHS Highland is expected to start work on the £36m North of Scotland Elective Centre by the end of 2019.

Ms 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.

READ MORE: NHS in Wales welcomes £50m additional funding to cut waiting times

READ MORE: Traffic light system could reduce hospital 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.

Following the visit, 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.”

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