- 20.9 per cent increase on 2017 as total tops 8,000

09 February 2019

An average of 23 operations a day were cancelled in the health service last year due to lack of hospital capacity or for non-clinical reasons like a lack of staff or clean equipment, new figures published today reveals.

Data from ISD Scotland shows a 20.9 per cent increase in this type of cancellation compared to 2017, despite fewer scheduled operations and only a 4.2 per cent increase in the total number of cancellations.

In total, 8,311 operations were cancelled because hospitals couldn’t cope in 2018.

The figures come as the government missed its target to publish an NHS workforce plan by the end of January

Scottish Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health Monica Lennon said:

“Having an operation cancelled is undoubtedly distressing for people.

“These figures are unacceptable and show the exceptional strain our health service is facing, with more and more surgeries cancelled due to a lack of space or staff.”

“The SNP have been in charge of our NHS for over a decade but have failed to ensure it has the right mix of staff to deliver the care patients need.”

They promised a workforce plan to try and solve this mess but that’s been delayed too.”

“Unlike the SNP, Scottish Labour would focus on what our NHS needs and deliver real improvements for patients and staff.”

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