NHS Scotland’s astonishing performance in completing operations on time

Only those operations cancelled due to capacity constraints such as the unavailability of operating theatres or surgeons can be of concern or of interest to critics. In June 2019, 91.3% of operations were carried out as planned and only 2% were cancelled due to lack of capacity. This is a remarkable figure for any organisation never mind a huge complex system such as NHS Scotland. To have no cancellations of this kind at all would require over-capacity at a level not justifiable.

NHS Scotland has been performing at this level with cancellations due to capacity running at 2% or less for the last 4 months.

Click to access 2019-08-06-Cancellations-Summary.pdf


10 thoughts on “NHS Scotland’s astonishing performance in completing operations on time

  1. anniefraethehills August 6, 2019 / 2:27 pm

    Great news and all thanks to the wonderful staff of the Scottish Health Service and their hard work.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Bugger le Panda August 6, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    That will be all over the BBC Scotland News tonight.

    Says the sarcastic Panda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alasdair Macdonald August 6, 2019 / 5:14 pm


      The Edinburgh Children’s Hospital is, of course, with a bit about lifetime costs.


      • stewartb August 6, 2019 / 6:23 pm

        Reporting Scotland tells us how very expensive this hospital is. Shock: it costs a lot to fit out a modern, state-of-the-art hospital and it will cost a lot to maintain it over the long term. Who could have imagined this? The state broadcaster, with a mission to educate and inform, provides zero context and zero comparative information with other new hospital builds, either historically (PFIs) or at present. This is gone far beyond a joke!!

        And even worse was RS’ coverage in the same programme of the Lanarkshire schools’ site investigation – completely unacceptable scare-mongering on flimsy, incomplete, equivocal evidence broadcast whilst a formal, full expert investigation is already underway – to sow seeds of doubt among the public in this formal investigation? I’m also concerned that an ‘expert’ academic permits himself to be used to puff up BBC Scotland’s scares.


      • Legerwood August 6, 2019 / 8:06 pm

        Here is some info on costs for new Childrens’s Hospital and other PFI projects most notably its near neighbour the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Both had a similar build cost albeit several years apart but quite noticeably different finance models and thus final payback costs.

        Here are some links hospital costs.

        NHS Lothian procurement – Edinburgh Children’s hospital https://org.nhslothian.scot/CapitalDevelopments/currentprojects/proudhistoriesnewchapters/FundingAndProcurement/Pages/default.aspx

        Edinburgh Royal Infirmary costs and a few other PFI projects to from article in Daily Record.

        Archived article from Daily Record

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Legerwood August 6, 2019 / 4:27 pm

    It is also worth pointing out too that some of the planned operations cancelled for resource or staffing reasons may have been cancelled at the last minute because of an emergency admission requiring surgery. Every month about a quarter of people attending A&E are admitted to hospital. Some will require emergency surgery – appendicitis, road accident etc. So someone’s op may be cancelled as a result.

    The performance across the NHS by staff at all levels is amazing and should be celebrated but instead opposition politicians, who could never achieve that level of performance and productivity, use it as a political football. No body of workers have their performance and output measured and reported in such detail. I wonder what the results would be if we did a ‘Time and Motion’ study on MSPs over the course of a year? Or MSM reporters for that matter.


  4. Ludo Thierry August 6, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    Since the topic is concerning highly impressive piece of sustained work by one of Scotland’s public services I feel I’m not going OT by mentioning the beeb website article regarding today’s Scottish Qualifications results. In an earlier post today I made an apology to beeb Scotland as Reevel Alderson managed to persuade his editors to carry a really good piece on the RECORD figures being achieved with the Scottish bowel test kits. I am also noticing a pretty fair article and comments from Jamie McIvor on the exam results – even the headline is accurate and balanced: ” Scottish exam results: Pass rate falls for Highers but rises for National 5s”.

    Jamie McIvor manages to slip in the eminently sensible observation: “The fall in the Higher pass rate merits investigation, but at this stage care is needed to avoid presuming cause and effect.”

    One thing that isn’t mentioned in the beeb article or carried on the radio news piece I caught earlier (but is reported on the news.gov.scot site) is the very encouraging successful take up of the offered skills-based qualifications. Info from news.gov.scot below:

    More than 54,000 skills-based qualifications have also been achieved, providing learners with the skills needed to help them move into employment, further or higher education. Mr Swinney said: “There has been a sustained increase in the number of skills-based qualifications, with 54,406 awards achieved this year, more than double the figure attained in 2012 and a rise of over 4,000 awards on last year. These qualifications provide our learners with the vital knowledge and experience specifically valued by employers”.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ludo Thierry August 6, 2019 / 6:41 pm

    Further good news on Scotland’s public service provision from news.gov.scot site today – this time concerning Police Scotland quarterly force strength numbers. Will we see it/hear it on the msm? – doubtful in the extreme. NOTE the SNP Scottish Govt continuing to uphold (and surpass) the manifesto commitment of 1000 extra Police officers made way back in 2007:


    An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

    Scotland’s Chief Statistician has published statistics on Police Officer Quarterly Strength, which gives the number of full-time equivalent police officers employed by Police Scotland.

    The key findings of the statistics are:

    • there were 17,259 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland on 30 June 2019

    • police officer numbers have increased by 8 FTE officers (+0.05%) in the last quarter from 31 March 2019

    • police officer numbers have increased by 87 FTE officers (+0.5%) in the last year from 30 June 2018

    • an increase of 1,025 FTE police officers (+6.3%) from the 16,234 FTE police officers recorded at 31 March 2007

    Liked by 1 person

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