A West Scotland MSP has called for an “emergency plan” to cut extensive wait times for diabetic patients in Ayrshire.

Katy Clark made the comments after the release of a report from NHS Ayrshire and Arran on January 30.

Statistics showed out of the 1,027 new patients this year made to wait over 18 months for an outpatient slot, 513 were related to diabetes and endocrinology.

Ms Clark said: “These appalling figures expose the seriousness of the crisis in our NHS.

“Diabetics in Ayrshire and Arran are undoubtedly being woefully let down by the Scottish Government’s failure to get on top of this.

“The health board, struggling due to underinvestment, has sold off nearly a quarter of its own assets in recent years, with public funding that could be reinvested being leaked into private hands at every turn.

“Meanwhile, overworked staff are reporting stress, trauma and burnout.

“Astonishingly, these issues are barely acknowledged in the Scottish Government’s own workforce strategy.

“This isn’t good enough. It’s time for the Health Secretary to acknowledge the severity of this crisis and come forward with an emergency plan.”

Ms Clark also expressed doubts that NHS Ayrshire and Arran would be able to meet their target of having no patients wait over a year for an appointment without help from the Scottish Government.

In response to Ms Clark’s comments, the Scottish Government said they would address the appointment backlog and look to address issues faced by diabetes patients.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Our published NHS Recovery Plan sets out our plans for health and social care which includes supporting inpatient and outpatient activity to address the backlogs of care over the next 5 years.

“Diabetes is a clinical priority for the Scottish Government.

“Our Diabetes Improvement Plan sets out our priorities and commitments to improve prevention, treatment and care for everyone in Scotland affected by diabetes.”

The plan looks forward to 2026 and focuses on ‘Prevention and Early Detection of Diabetes and its Complications’; ‘Type 1 Diabetes’; ‘Person-Centred Care’; ‘Equity of Access’; ‘Supporting and Developing Staff’; ‘Inpatient Diabetes’; ‘Improving Information’ and ‘Innovation’.

Access the full January report here: www.nhsaaa.net/media/13335/2023-01-30-bm-p11-performance-report.pdf.

Read the full Diabetes Improvement Plan here: www.gov.scot/publications/diabetes-improvement-plan-diabetes-care-scotland-commitments-2021-2026/pages/1.