A scheme that allowed people with spinal injuries a fast track approval for a disability benefit has been ended due to DWP changes.

A previous arrangement between the health board, city council and DWP saw patients with spinal injuries supplied with supporting evidence by the consultant neurosurgeon at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital which reduced the requirement for further DWP assessment criteria.

According to council officials it reduced the waiting time from as long as 30 weeks to eight weeks and cut down on bed blocking and reduced the cost to the NHS of care.

However, as a result of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) administration being moved from Glasgow to an office in England the council’s Treasurer Allan Gow said this “unpicked” the arrangement.

Mr Gow has written to the UK Work and Pensions Secretary, Therese Coffey, calling for it to be re-instated.

Mr Gow said the time taken to process PIP for those patients reduced from 30 plus weeks to eight weeks, meaning that an appropriate care package can be put in place much earlier, and patients able to be discharged, without delay, when they are well enough to be so.

He added the cost saving to the NHS was around £86,000 per patient.

He said: “It was a system which worked well and which was supported by all partners.”

The Treasurer added: “The system we put in place in Glasgow has been unpicked and undone and we are back to the 30 plus week waiting time for PIP to be awarded.”

He said that in addition to the consultant neurosurgeon the DWP were demanding consultant reports, occupational therapist reports and telephoning the duty nurse at the Spinal Unit to confirm the diagnosis and prognosis.

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: We work with all partners to deliver excellent healthcare. Partnership working is designed to ensure all patients are treated as quickly as possible and are discharged as soon as medically safe with the most appropriate range of support measures in place.