Borders couple's concerns over Paediatric surgery "postcode lottery"

Borders General Hospital.Borders General Hospital.
Borders General Hospital.
A Borders couple has told of their concerns over waiting times for kids' surgery in the region after their eight-year-old son was on the waiting list for 14 months.

The lad, who had a condition which could have affected him in later life if not treated within six months, would still be waiting to be seen as an outpatient here if they had not taken it upon themselves to take him to Glasgow, where he has now had his consultation and his operation, and is doing well.

His parents, who have both worked for NHS Borders and we have agreed not to name, say it should not be a postcode lottery when it comes to children’s health.

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The NHS Inform website had median waiting times for paediatric outpatients at 74 weeks, while in Glasgow, it’s just eight weeks.

His mother said: “We both feel really strongly that the children of the Borders are getting a really raw deal in comparison to other areas in Scotland.

"Our son is still on their waiting list, since last April, and hasn’t even been seen for a consultation.

"We decided to take time off work to take him to Glasgow, and had to pay for travel and hotel accommodation ourselves.

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"Not everyone is in this position or has the opportunity to go elsewhere. It shouldn’t be a postcode lottery for healthcare across Scotland.

"We know only too well of the challenges the NHS faced during Covid and the aftermath, but how can there be such differences in waiting lists depending on what health board you look at?”

A spokesperson for NHS Borders said: “We strive to deliver the best possible services for our population and this includes access to care and treatment in a reasonable time.

"Although we cannot comment on individual cases, paediatric outpatient operations are provided locally in the Borders by NHS Lothian.

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"We are working closely with our colleagues at NHS Lothian and are doing everything we can to ensure that those who are waiting are seen as soon as possible.

"Appointments are scheduled based on clinical priority and patients who require to be seen urgently continue to be referred to the team in Edinburgh.”