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Scotland's SNP has lost track of patients who fall off NHS waiting list, says watchdog

Patients who have “lost hope” of ever seeing a doctor are falling off NHS waiting lists due to poor record-keeping by the SNP government, Scotland’s public spending watchdog has revealed.

Stephen Boyle, the auditor-general, said there was no record of patients who drop off the waiting list to go private or who simply give up.

Humza Yousaf, the health secretary, said he was aware of “a small number of people” who had gone abroad for transplants, including one of his own constituents.

He admitted there was no way of knowing the scale of the issue, or whether the organs were obtained legally.

Boyle said: “I don’t wish to be blasé and say it is straightforward, but it really should not be an insurmountable problem to have a clear vision and strategy, reviewed and commented on, with an annual transparent plan to track progress.

“The government themselves don’t have the complete data we think they should have to make some of the decisions about the delivery of health and social care services and reform.”

Gillian Mackay, an SNP MSP, said some constituents told her that they have been put on a waiting list and “they hear nothing more about when they will be seen, or how they will be prioritised”.

Boyle said the NHS needs to “manage patients’ expectations about how long they will have to wait”.

He said: “Everybody who is waiting for services needs to have a clear expectation of when they will receive those services, whether it is [for] cancer, or other treatments on clinical prioritisation. There is clear missing part in transparency.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 19 April 2022


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