Wishart: NHS Shetland lagging behind on alcohol and drug treatment services

27 Jun 2023
A nurse.

Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart, has today (Tuesday 27th June) called on the Scottish Government to take urgent steps to support struggling substance misuse services, after new figures showed NHS Shetland breached the waiting time target for alcohol and drug treatment.

The Scottish Government’s Local Delivery Plan standard for drug and alcohol treatment states that 90% of people needing help with drug or alcohol problems will wait no longer than three weeks for treatment.

Data released today show in the first quarter of 2023 NHS Shetland has failed to meet this 90% target, with 71% of NHS Shetland patients treated within three weeks.

Eleven of the 14 NHS Boards met the standard. Shetland’s ranking was the lowest at 71% with Lothian at 84%, and Highland 87%, also missing the target.

Beatrice Wishart commented:

“Having met recently with the service I know how committed staff are in supporting their patients, but NHS Shetland needs the resources to ensure it can treat patients within the standard treatment timeframe target.

"The Scottish Government must immediately commit to greater and equitable support, including financial recognition of the cost of delivering services in Shetland.

“They should also commit to transform the way we approach alcohol and drug misuse and support health boards like NHS Shetland in achieving those goals."


Notes to Editors

Public Health Scotland: National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Waiting Times 1 January to 31 March 2023 - full report here: https://publichealthscotland.scot/media/20471/report-q4-2022-23-drug-alcohol-waiting-times.pdf

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