Latest figures show over 500 operations cancelled in a month due to lack of capacity

Immediate Release – 6 January 2016

Commenting on the latest figures which showed more than 500 cancelled operations in November due to capacity or non-clinical reasons, Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Dr Richard Simpson said:

“Scotland deserves a health service free at the point of use based on patient need, not the ability to pay. Our NHS is our most valued public service and it needs to have the resources to deliver the care Scots need.

“Now we see that more than 500 operations were cancelled in a month due to a lack of capacity in our NHS. The total numbers of operations cancelled have risen month on month throughout the autumn of 2015. That follows on from analysis which suggests 15 operations were cancelled every single day in 2015 due to a lack of resources.

“The number of patients cancelling operations has also risen by a quarter since the summer the SNP Government needs to investigate why this is happening”

“We know that only a third of NHS staff believe that they have the resources and staff to do their jobs properly. After nearly a decade in government and a majority in parliament there are no excuses for the SNP on our NHS.

“Scottish Labour would invest in social care to take the pressure off of our hospitals, allowing more people to get the care they need in their homes and freeing up space and resources in our hospitals. That starts with a living wage for care workers.

“It’s time we moved away from short term crisis management in our NHS to investing for the long term, building a health service fit for the challenges of the 2040s, not the 1940s.”




‘NHS forced to cancel 3000 operations in six months due to lack of resources’ –


Health Board / Hospital Name May-15 Jun-15 Jul-15 Aug-15 Sep-15 Oct-15 Nov-15
NHS SCOTLAND              
Total Number of scheduled elective operations in theatre system 28769 30904 28556 28902 30905 31491 31747
Total no of scheduled elective cancellations in  theatre systems 2643 2754 2592 2576 2788 3050 3064
Cancellation based on clinical reason by hospital 827 849 837 893 975 1066 1058
Cancellation based on capacity or non-clinical reason by hospital 479 401 414 448 488 549 540
Cancelled by Patient 1046 1181 1065 1058 1104 1178 1253
Other reason 291 323 276 177 221 257 213