Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today said that NHS boards must get the support they need to keep operations on track after new figures revealed 778 patients had their operations cancelled in December for capacity or non-clinical reasons, the highest level since January 2016.
Capacity or non-clinical reasons include beds, staff or equipment being unavailable or theatre sessions overrunning. Shockingly, one in eight patients in the Borders found their operations cancelled for capacity or non-clinical reasons.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“These new statistics show that 25 patients a day are having their operations cancelled through no fault of their own. 180 of those operations were cancelled in NHS Lothian alone. This is the highest level for almost two years.
“These cancellations cause stress and disruption to the patients being prepared for operations that didn’t take place, as well as their families and NHS staff.
"To make matters worse, we already know that the the number of cancelled operations in the first month of 2018 is set to be considerably worse, with one consultant describing the situation as 'absolutely catastrophic'.
“SNP ministers need to give NHS boards the support they need to be able to keep operations on track.”