The UK media is utterly dominated by reports of massive cancellations in NHS England. Under the headline:
‘NHS extends suspension of all non-urgent care as doctors warn of winter crisis’
the Independent, today, reports that officials estimate this could lead to up to 55,000 deferred operations [in January] and that one senior doctor has apologised for ‘third world conditions’ in his hospital.
On Sky News today, Jeremy C…Hunt was asked if he was ashamed. It reminds us of the accusation of a ‘humanitarian crisis’, in NHS England last year, from the Red Cross. The Scottish media is quiet though I doubt they’re content. There are no reports of NHS Scotland advising its hospitals to plan for major cancellations in January. Indeed, the most recent statistical data suggests that it has entered the winter period with an improved performance in November.
In November 2016, there were 2 871 planned operations cancelled. Should that really be ‘postponed’? In November 2017, the figure was 2 720 out of a total of 30 820, down from 9% or 2 871, to 8.8% of the total number of operations.
It’s important to note that 977 of these were cancelled by the patients themselves with only 664 or 2.2% cancelled (postponed) due to capacity or non-clinical reasons. Remember, the 55 000 figure for NHS England refers only to this type of cancellation, due to lack of capacity.
Constructing a Winter crisis in NHS Scotland is going to take some doing. Are our Unionist media up-to-it? They will try. Be ready to laugh.