Funding announced to tackle endoscopy waiting list

A total of £7.8m will be made available to help tackle backlog of patients in need of the procedure.

Funding announced to tackle endoscopy waiting list Getty Images

Almost £8m will be made available to tackle a backlog of patients waiting for an endoscopy.

The procedure involves a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and camera being inserted into a patient, allowing doctors to examine their internal organs.

The pandemic meant endoscopies were only carried out in emergency cases, with some 19,000 patients currently on the waiting list.

As the NHS starts work to restore services, health secretary Jeane Freeman announced the £7.8m investment.

The Scottish Government hopes that by using new technology and additional capacity, the backlog can be reduced, with patients being seen based on their clinical need.

More testing will be carried out at the NHS Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, at mobile units and within the private sector.

Freeman said: “There’s no question that stopping endoscopy services for all cases except emergencies was a difficult decision to take.

“But it was necessary so we could deal with the challenge of Covid-19.

“I’m pleased that as we continue to see positive results in dealing with the virus we can now move to treat the many patients who have been waiting, and we will do that safely and sustainably.”

She added: “Patient safety always comes first.

“So as we steadily re-mobilise our NHS, your experience as a patient will be a bit different, and it will take us longer than before to see people as we maintain our vigilance against the virus with important additional safety measures.”

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