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NHS Grampian refutes claims it’s “among the worst” for cancelling operations

Thursday June 6th 2019 at 7:00 AM

NHS Grampian has refuted claims made by a local MSP that they’re “among the worst” in the country for cancelling operations for non-clinical reasons.

The local health board has revealed that, of the 3,116 operations scheduled for April this year, only 7% were scrapped, either by the hospital or by the patient.

That’s the lowest cancellation rate since July 2017 and below the Scotland wide rate of 8.5%.

A spokeswoman for NHS Grampian said: “We do not recognise claims that we are ‘among the worst’ for cancelled operations

“The number of planned operations across NHS Grampian in April 2019 was 3116. Of these, 244 (7.8%) were cancelled either by the hospital or by the patient. This was the lowest cancellation rate since July 2017 and is below the Scotland wide rate of 8.5%.

“Postponement of an operation is never a decision that is taken lightly and we will always explore every opportunity to avoid this situation. We will always prioritise care based on the medical need.

“We would like apologise to any patients who have been inconvenienced by the re-scheduling of a procedure and we will continue to give as much notice as possible when this does occur.”

However, North-east Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles has called on the Scottish Government to provide NHS Grampian with adequate funding because 250 operations were cancelled for non-clinical reasons between February and March this year.

He said: “These figures relate to capacity and non-clinical reasons by the hospital for cancellations. They do not include cancellations by the patient, clinical reasons or any other reasons.

“I think this shows NHS Grampian would hugely benefit from its fair share of resources.

“Patients in the North East are being placed in the vulnerable position of longer wait times for operations. This can have a major impact on patients and their family’s physical and mental wellbeing.

“I am calling for the Scottish Government to think of those patients in the North East who are still waiting for surgery. Those patients deserve a health board equipped with its fair share of resources.”

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “The figures show the lowest number of cancelled operations in any April since reporting began.

“In April 2019, there were 829 operations carried out on average each day, with just 1.8% of all operations being cancelled for capacity or non-clinical reasons.

“We continue to work closely with health boards to ensure cancellations are kept to a minimum and that any postponed procedures will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.

“We recently announced the next round of funding of £70 million from our Waiting Times Improvement Plan.

“The plan is backed with more than £850 million of funding and will help increase capacity and efficiency, and introduce new models of care, which will help us to further reduce the number of cancellations.”

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