Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today urged the Scottish Government to get to grips with supporting health boards as new figures revealed that more than 20 operations a day were cancelled in December due to capacity or non-clinical reasons.
Statistics published this morning showed 644 patients had their operations cancelled for capacity on non-clinical reasons in December.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Going in for an operation can be incredibly stressful and cancellations can happen for a number of reasons. However there is no hiding from the fact that hundreds of patients aren’t getting the operations they need because of capacity and staffing issues.
“In NHS Fife we saw four times as many operations cancelled for non-clinical or capacity reasons compared to last year, while almost 1 in 10 operations in NHS Highland were cancelled.
“Across the country more than 20 patients a day failed to receive the operation they needed because their hospital could not accommodate them. This is bad for patients, bad for their families and a huge burden on NHS staff too.
“I was deeply troubled when Dr Patrick Statham, a neurosurgeon at the Western General Hospital, got in touch to say the situation in his ward was so dire he was being forced to cancel operations because of a lack of beds. Doctors and nurses across the country are working incredibly hard to give patients the best possible care. Now the SNP need to match that dedication and get serious about giving health boards the support they need.”