Operations cancelled due to non-clinical/capacity reasons are an indicator of performance by NHS Scotland. Operations cancelled by patients themselves of for a clinical reason by doctors tend to remain constant and are, of course, not due to, for example, any shortages in beds, operating theatres or of staff. The former, always a small percentage of overall planned operations, less than 5% at a peak time, and typically less than 2%, have been falling for the last three months.
‘2,259 operations (8.6% of all planned operations) were cancelled in September 2018, ranging from 4.6% to 12.8% across individual NHS Boards. This compares to 2,560 (9.2%) in September 2017. In September 2018, of all 26,246 planned operations: 871 (3.3%) were cancelled by the patient; 878 (3.3%) were cancelled by the hospital based on clinical reasons; 429 (1.6%) were cancelled by the hospital due to capacity or non-clinical reasons; 81 (0.3%) were cancelled due to other reasons.’