New Scottish Liberal Democrat analysis has shown that 265,000 scheduled operations have now been lost to the pandemic and the party has called for an urgent new Burnout Prevention Strategy for NHS staff as the backlog continues to grow.
In October only 16,704 operations were scheduled in the theatre system – more than 10,000 below pre-covid levels of NHS activity.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented:
"These new statistics show the scale of covid's impact. In the region of 265,000 operations have now been lost to the pandemic. The loss of these procedures means people are in pain and can’t get on with life.
“The backlog is still growing because operations remain way below pre-covid levels.
“NHS staff have worked around the clock to protect people from the virus and navigate the fallout of the SNP’s botched workforce planning that has left so many departments dreadfully short of staff. They deserve better.
“It is why I’m calling on SNP ministers to urgently bring forward a Burnout Prevention Strategy for staff this winter. If staff aren’t retained then every plan to recruit, stabilise the health service and stem the backlog of operations will fall flat.”