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.