Record number of Scots going south for surgery

Record number of Scots travelled to England to have surgery

THE NUMBER of Scots crossing the border for surgery has risen by a third over the last five years, according to new figures.

More than 3,500 Scottish patients travelled hundreds of miles to the English border for operations last year, an increase of almost 1,000 since 2007.

Figures released by the NHS revealed that Scottish patients spent over 30,500 “bed days” recovering in English hospitals last year.

But a patients group said that it would be “morally wrong and truly unacceptable” if people were being forced to travel down south for operations that could be done at their local hospital in Scotland.

However, the Scottish Government insisted the figures were for specialist procedures not available north of the Border.

Margaret Watt, chair of the Scotland Patients Association, said: “It might be a type of surgery that is not available inScotlandbut if we can’t perform that surgery in Scotland then we should be doing something about making it available.”