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Hospital referrals slammed

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By Abbey Morton
Hospital referrals slammed

THOUSANDS of patients from across the region were admitted for hospital treatment outwith the area last year.

And Scottish Liberal Democrat South Scotland MSP and health spokesperson Jim Hume, has today called for urgent action from the Scottish Government to ensure people can access health care closer to home.
The information comes from new data, highlighted as part of a response to a parliamentary question posed by Mr Hume, which reveals there have been year-on-year increases in the number of patients referred outwith their health board area since the flagship Treatment Time Guarantee was introduced.
Last year 2860 people within NHS Dumfries and Galloway were referred elsewhere, compared to 2530 the year before.
Commenting, Mr Hume said: “It’s frankly shocking that thousands of patients across South Scotland were referred for hospital treatment outwith their area last year.
“There are a number of reasons why patients may be referred to other parts of Scotland for treatment.
“But in general, patients should be able to attend hospital appointments as close to their homes as possible — the difficulty of travelling further afield is not only inconvenient but can also aggravate the very health conditions they are being referred for.
“As we approach winter the Scottish Government must act now to support health boards and their staff and ensure key services are being provided locally.”


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