PATIENTS are having to wait more than a year for treatment across NHS Fife, figures have revealed.

Fife MSP Alex Rowley has expressed "significant concerns" over the statistics published by Public Health Scotland which are the highest on record and more than double the same period last year.

At the end of December last year, a total of 2,991 patients in Fife were waiting over 52 weeks for new outpatient appointments compared to 1,156 in 2022.

Also, there were 620 patients waiting for inpatient or day case admission compared to 339 waiting over 52 weeks the previous year.

Mr Rowley said the waiting list figures have "grown significantly" since the Government published its "failing" NHS Recovery Plan, which he said confirmed the plan was not fit for purpose.

READ MORE: Staff and pupils injured through 'unacceptable' restraint practice at Aberdour school

He said inpatient admission waits have surged over 380 per cent, whereas outpatient waits of over 52 weeks have seen a staggering growth of over 1,160 per cent since the recovery plan was published.

“These surging waiting times raise significant concerns with the Government mismanagement of our NHS," he said.

“The latest figures show fast rising numbers of people waiting over 52 weeks for a multitude of different treatments, including a staggering 630 people waiting over 52 weeks for neurology outpatient appointments in Fife – the highest number waiting across any health board in Scotland.

“We are also seeing far too many people waiting over a year for gynaecology, orthopaedics, and urology appointments.

“Huge waits such as these cause significant distress for patients and their families, as well as resulting in further deteriorations of health, leading to more treatments being needed. It’s an ever-growing spiral.

“This has come despite the fact the Scottish Government have announced a pause to its NHS capital programme. Yet again delaying the much-needed new health centres in Kincardine and Lochgelly – a decision that will do nothing to help tackle capacity issues or address the backlog.

READ MORE: Most affordable homes on sale in Dunfermline

“Staff working in NHS Fife do an amazing job working under difficult circumstances. It is crucial NHS Fife explain these unacceptable waiting times and ensure there is adequate provision of consultants and technicians to support staff to get these waiting times down.”

Director of Acute Services, Claire Dobson, said they recognised that waiting times in Fife have increased over the last year, as they have across the country.

"This is reflective of the continually increasing demand we are seeing for both outpatient appointments and planned surgery," she said.

“The vast majority of patients wait much less than 52 weeks to be seen, and those with the greatest clinical need continue to be prioritised to be seen most quickly.

"We also remain in regular contact with patients who are on our waiting lists so that we can potentially reprioritise should there be any changes in the individual’s condition.

“We are not in any way accepting of longer waiting times for patients and are working to optimise capacity wherever possible to help us to increase the number of people we can see.”