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Cancelled operation figures

Published: 1 Mar 2016 11:40

Statistics for January published.

Official figures published today show that in January 28,749 operations were scheduled to take place.

Of all the operations planned, 2183 – 7.6 per cent – were cancelled for clinical reasons, for example where the patient has not properly fasted, or were cancelled by the patient.

In total 806 – 2.8 per cent – were cancelled for non-clinical reasons.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

"The number of operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons remains a very small percentage of the overall number of scheduled procedures taking place in the NHS in Scotland. However, we are always working with health boards to make sure we manage capacity and planning, to keep all cancellations to a minimum.

"We know that winter brings additional demands on our health service and we tend to see a rise in cancelled operations over this time as health boards deal with increased unscheduled care pressures. Decisions to cancelled planned operations are never taken lightly, however, it is right that during these peaks in emergency care, health boards are able to ensure resources are flexible and the system as a whole works as effectively as possible.

"Over the wider system, our NHS performance is improved compared to last winter – with shorter A&E waits and significantly reduced delayed discharge

"Health boards work to ensure disruption to patients is always kept to an absolute minimum, and any postponed procedures will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity. We have made it clear to boards that patients with the greatest clinical need, such as cancer patients, should not have their operations cancelled.

"We also recently announcement a £200 million investment to create six new elective treatment centres which will carry out procedures like hip, knee and cataracts operations. The centres will allow people to be treated more quickly for planned surgery and the facilities will help the NHS meet increasing demand from a growing elderly population."

Notes to editors

The full publication is available on the ISD Scotland website:

The figures are also available on the NHS Performs website: