674 operations cancelled at NHS Highland in 2016 because hospitals could not cope

8 February 2017

A total of 674 operations were cancelled in 2016 because hospitals in NHS Highland did not have the resources to cope, new figures have revealed.

New analysis from Scottish Labour found that 7,740 operations were cancelled across Scotland in 2016 because of a lack of capacity, equipment or staff to carry them out – an average of 21 a day

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart said the figures backed up NHS staff concerns about growing pressures and said the long-term solution was to invest in social care to take pressure off hospital resources.

The SNP-Green budget is set to cut a further £170 million from local budgets in the coming year, taking the total to £1.5 billion of cuts since 2011.

At NHS Highland cancellations ranged from 20 in April last year to 103 in August and 100 in December.

“Every single day NHS staff tell us that they are under pressure and under resourced. Now we see that 674 planned operations were cancelled last year because hospitals across NHS Highland did not have the capacity to cope – hundreds more in Grampian.

“A decade of SNP mismanagement of our NHS means that patients are being let down because hospitals are not getting the support they need.

"NHS staff are performing as best they can under difficult circumstances, but the lack of support from the SNP Government makes their job even harder. It's no wonder than only one third of NHS staff think they have enough colleagues to do their job properly.

“The way to take the pressure off of our hospitals is to properly invest in social care.

“ Instead the SNP-Green budget means more local government cuts on top of the £1.5 billion slashed by the SNP since 2011.

“There’s a better way, Labour would use the powers of the parliament to stop the cuts and invest instead.”

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