A senior doctor has warned that clearing the waiting list backlogs that have built up in the NHS over the pandemic will take years.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Colin Mckay said pressure was relentless and the number and complexity of emergency patients was different since Covid.

He said this meant patients requiring more complicated surgery and spending longer in hospital recovering.

The Scottish government said ambitious plans were in place for NHS recovery.

Prof Mckay told the BBC he had “never seen anything like” the situation in Scotland’s hospitals over recent years.

However, he said, the number of emergency patients and the complexity of patient conditions was very different to how it was before the pandemic.

“It means that patients now spend longer in hospital, the surgery they require is more complex and all of this has an impact on service across the board,” he said.

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