There are currently hundreds of thousands of Scots on waiting lists. Those figures include those waiting to be seen as a new outpatient or admitted for treatment as an inpatient or day case. While the majority are likely to be less serious cases, there are nevertheless many thousands of people who would welcome the opportunity to travel elsewhere in the UK if it meant speeding up their treatment.

Around the same time as my mum was going under the surgeon’s knife, the then English health secretary Steve Barclay was inviting his counterparts from Scotland and Wales to discuss ways of cutting the backlogs. It has subsequently emerged that he offered to take Scottish NHS patients into English hospitals to help reduce waiting times north of the border, an invitation apparently flatly declined by health secretary Michael Matheson.

It’s hard not to be cynical about the motives of the UK Government. Barclay, who has since been replaced with Victoria Atkins, clearly knew how it would look if an SNP-led government accepted help from its Tory counterpart. But if the offer was genuine, then what possible justification can Matheson have for refusing it?

Want to see more SNP fails? – Politics Matters

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and join the fightback against Scottish Nationalism.