Cancelled operations fall for second month to less than 2%

This is a chart showing, for NHS Scotland, the total planned operations and the percentage of patients who had their planned operation cancelled for the reasons of clinical, non-clinical/capacity, cancelled by patient or other reasons. Data is from November 2019 to November 2021. A red vertical line at March 2020 shows the point where the NHS was placed under emergency measures to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data shows a peak in non-clinical/capacity reasons in March 2020 due to the emergency measures.
https://www.publichealthscotland.scot/publications/cancelled-planned-operations/cancelled-planned-operations-month-ending-30-november-2021/

Operations may be cancelled by the surgeon or by the patient themselves, for good reasons. There will always be some of these and they tell us nothing about the performance of the NHS.

Cancellations due to staff or facility shortages do tell us something and when they are less than 25 and falling it means something good, very good. For this figure to ever be zero, you’d need more operating theatres and surgeons than could be afforded and accept long periods of emptiness and idleness.

In November 2021, 624 (3.0%) were cancelled by the hospital based on clinical reasons, 397 (1.9%) were cancelled by the hospital due to capacity or non-clinical reasons, 523 (2.5%) were cancelled by the patient and 61 (0.3%) were cancelled due to other reasons.

This is excellent.

5 thoughts on “Cancelled operations fall for second month to less than 2%

  1. Just looked it up and came on here to give the main points. They are good figures. Omicron not in full swing in November so have to see what it does to December figures which will of course be affected by the holiday period as well.

    For November the main points
    Main points
    The total number of planned operations across NHSScotland during November 2021 was 20,587. This represents an increase of 23.2% from 16,704 in October 2021 and is 14.9% higher than the number planned in November 2020. When comparing the latest month with November 2019, prior to the pandemic, there was a decrease of 30.8% from 29,766.

    In November 2021, 1,605 operations, or 7.8% of all planned operations, were cancelled the day before or on the day the patient was due to be treated. This compares to 1,385 (8.3%) in October 2021, 1,332 (7.4%) in November 2020 and 2,706 (9.1%) in November 2019. At NHS Board level this percentage ranged from 3.4% to 11.5% during the latest month.

    Of all planned operations during November 2021, 624 (3.0%) were cancelled by the hospital based on clinical reasons, 397 (1.9%) were cancelled by the hospital due to capacity or non-clinical reasons, 523 (2.5%) were cancelled by the patient and 61 (0.3%) were cancelled due to other reasons.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thought this might interest you. Nice when outsiders acknowledge Scotland’s NHS.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanks for posting this.

    Happy for see praise for NHS Scotland to be put on the record at Westminster..

    The Swedish expert says he was particularly impressed by Scotland, with the Scottish work over the last ten years, and also thinks there are a lot of things the Nordic countries can learn from Scotland too.

    The last word on the Westminster Health Committee went to Jeremy Hunt who told him,

    ‘When I was Health Secretary, I tried to pursuade the Head of Patient Safety to come to England and unfortunately I was unsuccessful’

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Well done SNHS. Some people are being treated sooner because others are waiting because of Covid. Choosing or being advised to wait for non urgent treatments. The vulnerable or the reluctant.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The Herald has a story on this in the paper today. Or should I say the Herald has re-hashed Labour’s press release on cancelled ops and printed it as a story.. Usual selective use of time periods and statistics. O am sure the Prof will deconstruct it at some point.

    Liked by 2 people

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