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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06113: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 12 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce waiting lists for operations in NHS Grampian for (a) cancer and (b) other patients, and whether this will include providing funding for (i) hiring specialist nurses and (ii) procedures to be carried out in the private sector.

Answered by: Shona Robison 25 January 2017

As announced in the Draft Budget for 2017-18 in Parliament on 15 December 2016, the baseline allocation for NHS Grampian will increase to a total of £899.4 million. In addition to this increase, the board can also expect to receive an additional £3 million of recurring (NRAC) National Resource Allocation Committee parity funding.

In the current year as part of the additional £10 million the Scottish Government announced on 21 November to tackle waiting times, NHS Grampian is receiving £918k specifically to address outpatient waiting times.

In addition, the Scottish Government cancer access team is working with NHS Grampian to ensure that surgical treatment for cancer patients is prioritised and to support cancer waiting times performance, this includes £460k allocated in 2016-17 to support increased access to diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer patients.

Furthermore, the Scottish Government has also invested an extra £2.5 million annually in specialist nurse training to improve specialist nursing and care. This funding included up to £700,000 to fulfil the First Minister’s commitment to double the number of Motor Neurone Disease Clinical Nurse Specialists and to ensure that they would all be paid from public funds. That commitment has now been met. NHS Boards made the decision where to prioritise these funds based on local need and NHS Grampian elected to recruit staff in the areas of Rheumatology, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Paediatric Allergy.

We continue to work closely with NHS Grampian to support their efforts to meet the needs of all patients in order to deliver a safe and sustainable service in a variety of settings and these measures will help drive down the use of the private sector for carrying out procedures in the future.