Scots are travelling to England for back pain treatment

31 January 2011

An increasing number of Scots are travelling south of the border for chronic back pain treatments.

New figures obtained by Jackie Baillie, a Labour MSP and party health spokesperson, showed that the NHS in Scotland spent £200,000 treating patients in the south of England.

Some 21 patients made the journey to Bath for treatment in 2010-11 - a slight increase on the previous year's figures, which stood at 18.

Since 2008, the NHS in Scotland has spent more than £620,000 sending chronic back pain patients for treatment in England.

"Forcing patients who are already suffering from painful conditions to endure long journeys away from friends and family to receive treatment should be avoided if at all possible," Baillie said.

She added: "These figures show that it is also very expensive."

According to a European-wide study conducted by the The Work Foundation, 49 per cent of all workplace absences are the result of musculoskeletal disorders - such as back pain.


1 "Scots back pain patients sent to England for treatment". BBC. Saturday, January 29th 2011.

2 "Fit for Work? Musculoskeletal Disorders in the European Workforce". The Work Foundation. September 2009.

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