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Cross-border NHS Provision: Waiting Times

Volume 746: debated on Wednesday 6 March 2024

10. Whether he has had recent discussions with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) the Scottish Government on waiting times for cross-border NHS provision. (901755)

The Government recognise the invaluable job that all NHS workers do; I see that every day of the week in my constituency in the Scottish Borders. That is why the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has written to the Scottish Government about working together to reduce patient waiting times. We continue to be open to exploring that further.

I have a lady constituent who suffers from a rare and dangerous condition called subglottic stenosis. Only one clinic has the expertise to treat the condition, and it is in London, yet our local health board is refusing to refer her. It says that it can offer another treatment, but it is thought to be less safe and possibly not very effective. What steps are the Government taking to ensure that patients, regardless of which side of the border they live on, get the best possible treatment?

I am regularly reminded, particularly as an MP for the Borders, of the need for healthcare to benefit people on either side of the border, particularly through cross-border working with the NHS. Local people in the Borders often get treatment faster and more easily because of that. Sadly, the hon. Member has highlighted a real problem with Scotland’s NHS, thanks to the mismanagement by the SNP Government in Edinburgh, particularly in rural health services. He has identified a very distressing case for his constituent and I am very happy to write to the Scottish Government, along with him, to raise the case with them.