Alex Cole-Hamilton: more work needed to cut cancelled operations

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today said health boards must get the support they need to carry out operations on time as new figures revealed 467 patients across Scotland had their operations cancelled for non-clinical or capacity reasons last month.


This means around 16 patients a day in April had their operations cancelled for non-medical reasons. One patient a day at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital fell into this category and more than 5% of planned operations at the Borders General Hospital were cancelled for non-clinical or capacity reasons.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“The progress we have seen nationally in reducing the number of operations cancelled because of lack of space or other non-clinical reasons is welcome and is testament to the hard work of doctors and nurses in hospitals across the country.

“However, I am sure NHS staff would be the first to say that there is more to be done. Last month, 467 patients were sent home not having received the operation they needed because their hospital could not accommodate them. That is around 16 patients a day who were not treated. The potential for disruption and stress is obvious.

“The national picture also hides regional trends. In the Borders more than 5% of operations were cancelled by the hospital without medical cause. We need to ensure that health boards are getting the support they need to make sure these operations are done on time.”

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