Patients in Shetland with musculoskeletal complaints are the best served in the country, new figures have revealed.
Across Scotland just 49 per cent of patients who had a first clinical appointment with an allied health professional in musculoskeletal services were seen within four weeks of referral for the quarter ending June 30th.
The Scottish Government’s target stipualtes that the figure should be at least 90 per cent and NHS Shetland performed above this standard, recording a figure of 94.5 per cent.
The allied health professionals professions that deliver musculoskeletal services include physiotherapy, podiatry and orthotics.
Musculoskeletal problems includes complaints and diseases localised in joints, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and muscles.
Throughout Scotland 84,556 patients met the criteria to be counted in the statistics.
In Shetland, per 100,000 of the population, more people with musculoskeletal problems saw an allied health professional than anywhere else. This figure was 4,088 per 100,000. The Scottish average was 2,611.
NHS Shetland interim chief executive Simon Bokor-Ingram thanked the NHS Shetland staff responsible for providing musculoskeletal services.
“While the number of patients in Shetland is lower than in other parts of Scotland, our allied health professional teams are small and tightly staffed.
“To achieve 94.5 per cent shows a deep commitment and determination to ensure that patients are able to access the services they need as quickly as possible.”
He added: “What is heartening is that our patients are coming forward when they have a problem, confident of receiving help.”
Jo Robinson, interim director of community health and social care said: “The physiotherapy, orthotics and podiatry services work extremely hard to deliver these services.
“The staff in these teams are dedicated and constantly striving to improve the services they provide.”