Stunning NHS Scotland performance with only 2% of operations cancelled due to lack of staff or resources

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From NHS Scotland yesterday:

The total number of planned operations across NHSScotland during February 2020 was 27,645, which is similar to during February 2019 when there were 27,762.

2,481 operations (9.0% of all planned operations) were cancelled in February 2020, ranging from 5.6% to 12.4% across individual NHS Boards. This compares to 2,455 (8.8%) in February 2019.

In February 2020, of all planned operations:

3.3% were cancelled by the patient;

3.3% were cancelled by the hospital based on clinical reasons;

2.0% were cancelled by the hospital due to capacity or non-clinical reasons;

0.3% were cancelled due to other reasons.

https://beta.isdscotland.org/find-publications-and-data/healthcare-resources/waiting-times/cancelled-planned-operations/

Anyone who has worked in a large organisation will know that 100% success in any target is largely impossible unless you are able to over-staff and to resource at a level well-beyond typical demand on the system. No large organisation, to my knowledge, does so, and all accept that it is more a matter of keeping ‘failure’ to as low a level as possible.

In my 40 or so years in education, I don’t remember a single instance of performance at this level.

Remember, the cancellations by the patient or by the hospital for clinical reasons, are positive indicators. The decision to operate or not will often be a very subjective one based on uncertainties of outcome which matter enormously for the patient.

So, 98% of outcomes, achieved here, should be applauded.

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