Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has called on the new Health Minister to bolster NHS resources after new statistics revealed nearly 500 operations were cancelled in May for capacity or non-clinical reasons.
ISD Scotland recorded 2498 cancelled operations in May 2018. Of these 489 were cancelled by hospitals because of limited capacity or non-clinical reasons. This can include beds, staff or equipment being unavailable or theatre sessions overrunning.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“It is completely unacceptable that 500 patients had their operations cancelled in May alone through no fault of their own.
“Cancelled operations can be devastating and completely derail people’s life plans. The disruption it causes to patients and families cannot be understated.
“Delayed discharge is at the epicentre of all of this. The fact that people are waiting as many as 600 nights in hospital when they’re well enough to go home but waiting for a social care package is causing many of these cancellations.
“If the NHS is under this much strain during the warm spring months, what hope can we have when winter closes in again?
“The new Health Minister has a real opportunity to turn this around. She needs to bolster the workforce and ensure hard-working NHS staff can get on with their work safe in the knowledge they have sufficient resources to get the job done.”