§ Mr. Galbraith
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) to what factors he attributes the difference in 262W orthopaedic waiting lists between 494 days in Fife and 53 days in Argyll and Clyde; and what action he is taking to reduce these differences;
(2) to what factors he attributes the large variation in orthopaedic waiting times in the same health boards in Scotland; and what action he is taking to reduce these differences.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Waiting times in different areas and specialties will inevitably vary, for a wide variety of reasons. Because of this it is difficult to reach any firm conclusion when comparing the waiting times of patients in different board areas particularly in respect of one single specialty taken in isolation. Health boards are ultimately responsible for managing waiting lists and from their knowledge of local needs, they decide on priorities in the provision of services. I am exploring possible courses of action to assist in the reduction of waiting times.