Date lodged: 7 October 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that, because of a backlog of 14,000 operations, NHS Lothian has decided to reverse its previous position on reducing its use of the private sector.
Answered by: Shona Robison 4 November 2016
The Scottish Government recognises there has been some deterioration in waiting time performance in NHS Lothian and are aware that the Board has decided to make use of the private sector to ensure patients are seen as quickly as possible. This is in line with the Scottish Governments policy that Boards can make use of the private sector in the margins to address short-term capacity issues and reduce waits for patients.
To support NHS Lothian the Scottish Government has also made available £2.5 million to help support NHS Lothian deliver waiting times standards and guarantee during 2016-17. In addition, the Scottish Government has already committed to invest £200 million to create five new elective centres including one in Edinburgh and also at St John's in Livingston. This network of new centres will ensure sustainable delivery of waiting time standards and guarantee in the future and will help drive down the use of the private sector.