Major achievement by NHS Scotland as operations cancelled due to capacity or non-clinical reasons fall dramatically by 31%


Where operations are cancelled due to non-clinical reasons such as shortages of skilled staff or of operating theatres, this can be tremendously upsetting for patients and is a reasonable indicator of problems in the system.

You can see from the above graph that operations cancelled by the patients or for a good clinical reason are largely unchanged since June 2017. However, operations cancelled for lack of capacity or for non-clinical reasons have fallen dramatically in the last three months and, crucially, continue to fall below last year’s low point in the summer of 2017.

From the data tables (ref below), cancellations based on the capacity of hospitals or for non-clinical reasons such as staff non-availability, by hospital fell from 587 in April 2018 to 403 in June 2018. This is a fall of 31% in 3 months. I have of course used the three-month figure to get a better headline as recommended in BBC Scotland’s editorial guidelines.


5 thoughts on “Major achievement by NHS Scotland as operations cancelled due to capacity or non-clinical reasons fall dramatically by 31%

  1. Ludo Thierry August 7, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    Hi John – only very ‘early’ evidence but looks promising regarding ‘changes’ in Scotland’s drug abuse patterns – could presage very welcome changes for future health trends. Would REALLY help if Westminster Home Office would butt out and not continually veto Scottish Govt and Glasgow City Council trialling the proposed Needle Room policy – see snippet (from beeb Scotland) below:

    Charities say they may have seen the first hard evidence of a change in Scotland’s drug-taking habits.

    Official figures revealed a drop in the number of people being given drug-injecting equipment in 2016/17 compared to the previous 12 months.

    Drugs workers said this may indicate a switch away from heroin.

    This is something which has already been reported anecdotally by drugs services and the police.

    The picture of drug-taking in Scotland is highly complex, and injecting equipment provision (IEP) – a measure of the success drugs services are having engaging with users – is merely one indicator of change. But it backs up anecdotal reports of increased use of cocaine, crack and benzodiazepine noticed by drugs services and police.

    The report said there had been a drop of 6% in the number of attendances (309,351) at pharmacies and specialist drug treatment providers.

    More than 4.4m needles and syringes were distributed – 7% fewer than in the previous 12 months.

    The average of 72 needles and syringes handed to each problem drug user also saw a 6% fall.

    The Scottish government said the purpose of providing injection equipment was to minimise the exposure of people who inject drugs to blood-borne virus infection such as HIV/Aids and Hepatitis C.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ludo Thierry August 7, 2018 / 4:58 pm

    Another wee bit of comparative health stats from ONS carried on beeb Health page – Info isn’t presented in clear and useful format – but of the ‘Nations’ of the UK it seems as if Scotland is showing continuing drop in Female Mortality Rate and the smallest ‘slowing’ of improvement in Male Mortality rate. (Sadly, Wales has seen a small increase in Female Mortality rate). Seems as if Scottish Govt and NHS Scotland were doing something right between 2011 and 2016 despite Westminster imposed austerity budgeting. – Always plenty of scope for improvement. See snippet below:

    Increases in life expectancy in the UK have stalled and the slowdown is one of the biggest among 20 of the world’s leading economies, ONS data shows.

    The ONS also analysed mortality rates – the number of deaths divided by the population – across the UK nations and found a similar slowdown in improvement between 2011 and 2016.

    For men, the improvement slowed most in England and Wales, though progress has also stalled in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

    For women, mortality rates increased slightly in Wales and showed no improvement in Northern Ireland.

    In England and Scotland, the mortality rates for women fell slightly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Contrary August 7, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    ‘as recommended by BBC Scotland’s editorial guidelines’ 😀 Tut tut.

    But then, we just just need something to balance the negative take we are fed by the Msm on NHS Scotland, and it goes to show that there really is no need to have a negative take, and that a huge effort is being made to manufacture that negative take.

    I had a bit of a rant over on the indyref2 blogsite regarding the BBC stubbornly reporting a lie and ignoring the official announcement (same as your previous article), just got a bit irritated that folk were still focusing on the actual sum of money – so the BBC have really still won that round eh? I’ll link to it (in case you are missing my rants):

    In fact I should put a link of this article over there, it’ll make a nice little positive feedback loop, people seem to like to have things to get annoyed about.

    Ludo, great additional good news items you found there. Especially the more hopeful outlook in drug use habits.

    Liked by 1 person

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