Cole Hamilton: 500 cancelled operations show boards need support

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman 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 more than 500 patients had their operations cancelled in September for capacity or non-clinical reasons. 

New statistics published today by ISD Scotland show that 560 operations were cancelled for reasons including beds, staff or equipment being unavailable or theatre sessions overrunning. The figure is at its highest level since May. 

These statistics come a week after it was revealed that a quarter more patients are dying while on the waiting list for operations following an initial consultation in 2017 compared to 2013.

Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said: 

“These new statistics show that almost 20 patients a day are having their operations cancelled through no fault of their own. More than 100 of these operations were cancelled in NHS Grampian alone, while one in five patients in the Western Isles found their operation cancelled for capacity or non-clinical reasons. 

“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. 

"Last week we saw shocking figures highlighting the increasing number of people who pass away while waiting for treatment. This is simply not good enough. SNP ministers must give NHS boards the support they need in order to be able to keep operations on track.”

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