The Herald’s Caitlyn Dewar (16?) tells us:
The number of cancelled operations in Scottish hospitals is at the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic, figures show.In June, 22,014 operations in Scotland were scheduled to go ahead, with 1,643 (7.5%) forced to be cancelled, according to Public Health Scotland figures.
Here are the data in a graph:
The solid pale blue represents the number of planned operations. It’s higher than it has been since the first few months of 2020 just ‘before the pandemic began?’ Good news!
The only type of cancellation which suggests strain in the system which could ever be described as forced to be cancelled, as the Herald allows Alex Cole-Hamilton to suggest, are the ‘non-clinical/capacity‘ ones. They are the only ones cancelled because a surgeon or a theatre became unavailable.
By contrast, a ‘clinical reason‘ means that a medic had decided, in the interests of the patient, it should not go ahead. More of that kind might easily be a good thing. ‘Cancelled by the patient’ means that they prefer not to go ahead. Neither is evidence of strain or pressure, quite the opposite.
The non-clinical/capacity figure did go up, 0.5%, in June 2021 but remained lower than in January 2021 or for that matter in December 2019, ‘before the pandemic began.’
Even if we allow Caitlyn and ACH to lump all the types of cancellation to together, we read:
In June 2021, 1,643 operations, or 7.5% of all planned operations, were cancelled the day before or on the day the patient was due to be treated. This compares to 1,269 (6.3%) in May and 2,481 (9.0%) in February 2020.
So, 1 643 or 7.5% cancelled in June 2021 and before the pandemic began, 2 481 or 9%.
Am I missing something?