Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today warned cancelled operations place immense strain on patients and staff after new statistics confirmed that the number cancelled for non-clinicial reasons hit twice the normal rate during January.
ISD Scotland recorded 1249 cancelled operations in January 2018, compared to 704 a year earlier. Almost 1 in 6 patients in the Highlands and Borders found their operations cancelled for capacity or non-clinical reasons.
Capacity or non-clinical reasons include beds, staff or equipment being unavailable or theatre sessions overrunning.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“These new statistics show that 40 patients a day had their operations cancelled through no fault of their own during January - twice the normal rate.
"While consultants in our NHS were describing the situation as 'absolutely catastrophic', Shona Robison was pointing to decisions being made in England. As doctors have said, the problem is that winter-related problems are being piled on to services already struggling to get by.
“Cancellations cause immense stress and disruption to the patients being prepared for operations that didn’t take place, as well as their families and NHS staff.
“SNP ministers need to give NHS boards the support they need to get operations back on track.”