Knee replacements taking up to 18 months as waiting lists soar, new data shows

  • Video report by ITV News reporter Barnaby Papadopulos

Patients throughout Dumfries and Galloway are waiting up to 18 months for knee and hip replacements, new data has showed.

Laura Ruthven Black used to be a carer herself, now, she's the one who needs looking after.

She's been waiting for a hip replacement for over a year, leaving her on crutches; she struggles to walk her dog, stand for long periods of time, and even dress herself.

"It's terrible," she said. "I can't do anything. It takes me ages to put my own clothes on, I get help sometimes putting my socks on, sometimes when I'm going for a shower."

But Laura isn't alone, she's just one of thousands across Scotland currently on a waiting list for a hip or knee replacement.

The median waiting time for hip replacements was 243 days between November 2023 and February.

According to data obtained via a Freedom of Information request, the median time that a patient who received a new hip from NHS Dumfries and Galloway between November 2023 and February 2024 had been waiting for that operation was 243 days, or around nine months.

Knee replacements took even longer, with a median waiting time of 355 days, or just under a year, for patients who received one over the same period.

The data also showed that the longest time a patient had waited for a new hip, who received one over the three month period, was 468 days - well over a year.

The waiting time standard for treatment in Scotland is 18 weeks - meaning the typical patient who received a new hip between November and February had been waiting almost double that time standard.

"It's ridiculous, I think it's absolutely shocking," said Laura. "All these folk that have worked all their time, all their days - and they get nothing."

NHS Dumfries and Galloway said that they "are continuing to work alongside colleagues from national teams such as the Centre For Sustainable Delivery (CFSD) to develop and implement plans designed to reduce the size of waiting lists locally and across Scotland.

"We continue to work to deliver elective procedures at a pace that ensures safety and sustainability, prioritising on the basis of identified clinical need.

"However, we are conscious that we continue to have a large number of outstanding procedures."

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