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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-08942
Asked by: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 14 June 2022


To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to address widening health inequalities in light of reports that an increasing number of people are using private healthcare in order to receive elective and orthopaedic surgery.

Current status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 24 June 2022


The National Treatment Centre (NTC) Programme will deliver the single biggest increase in protected planned care capacity ever created in NHSScotland. The network of 10 NTCs will deliver capacity for over 40,000 additional planned procedures and diagnostic care across 12 specialties.

Within the next 18 months, NTCs will open in NHS Fife, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Highland and at NHS Golden Jubilee specialising in orthopaedic surgery. On 13 April, we also announced £1.8m of funding to purchase a private hospital in Ayrshire (Carrick Glen) to be developed into a new National Treatment Centre specialising in orthopaedics.

As well as significant investment in new infrastructure, the new NHSScotland Centre for Sustainable Delivery is also leading work to explore new and innovative ideas to reduce In Patient / Day Case and Outpatient waiting times. Examples include:

  • The rollout of Active Clinical Referral Triage, to provide patients with information about non-surgical interventions and self-management options;
  • Patient Initiated Reviews, enabling patients to be escalated if their condition deteriorates and reduces routine appointments while supporting patients in a safe and clinically appropriate manner; and
  • Enhanced Recovery after Surgery pathways, designed to support patients achieve faster recovery after surgery.