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Planning for the future

Published: 9 Nov 2015 00:01

Increase in elective capacity to cope with growing demand.

Demand for elective procedures such as hip and knee replacements and cataract operations – which will be delivered at the new elective centres planned – is forecast to increase annually by 22,000 over the next 10 years.

By 2025 these most common procedures are predicted to grow by more than 40 per cent from around 54,000 to around 76,000 each year. By 2035, forecasts show just under 100,000 of these operations will be carried out annually.

To cope with this increasing demand the Scottish Government recently announced an investment of £200 million to create six new elective treatment centres able to carry out these operations.

Work is now underway to secure sites in Lothian, Grampian, Tayside and Highland heath boards to allow for new stand-alone facilities to be created, as well as expanding the Golden Jubilee to include a new centre.

These state-of-the-art sites will be planned using the latest technology and operational models to reduce the length of stay and enhance patient experience. This will include using a seven day planning model where possible as well as technology such as robotic assisted surgery.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

"Scotland is one of the best performing countries when it comes to delivering short waiting times and efficient healthcare. Nationally waits for hip and knee operations have more than halved over the last ten years, while waiting times for cataract operations are more than 40 per cent shorter.

"However, like most countries, we are facing increasing pressures on healthcare from a rapidly ageing population.

"Latest forecasts show that around 22,000 additional hip, knee and cataract procedures will be carried out in Scotland by 2025, bringing the total number undertaken to around 76,000 a year.

"This is why we are committed to increasing capacity for elective procedures in order to drive waiting times down further, reduce cancellations and work towards eradicating the use of the private sector.

"You only need to look at the impact the Golden Jubilee National Hospital – our national hospital for elective procedures – has had over the past 10 years since it was taken into public ownership, with the number of procedures increasing from 1,500 to 30,000 annually.

"Our investment of £200 million to create six new elective centres will build on the work carried out at the Golden Jubilee. 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, taking pressure off unplanned and emergency treatment.

"Our NHS is going through a period of change as we prepare to meet the needs of this ageing population and increasing elective capacity is just one of the many ways in which we are responding to this change.

"This along with work underway to bring together health and social care for the first time, to tackled delays in people being discharged from hospital and to update the way our GP surgeries work, are all contributing towards securing the long term future of our NHS."

Notes to editors

The forecasts are based on trends in age-specific intervention rates, applied to National Records for Scotland's age-specific population projections to create a future forecast of activity. This work has been validated internally and external using predictive statistical modelling.