Category Archives: Press Releases

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


Redesigning Primary Care for Scotland’s Communities

Motion S4M-15172: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/12/2015
Redesigning Primary Care for Scotland’s Communities

That the Parliament commends the good work of the dedicated health and care professionals who embody the community health services; agrees that effective frontline community healthcare is vital to helping people enjoy life at home, or in a homely setting, for as long as possible; recognises the challenges being faced in the recruitment and retention of GPs; supports the current work to agree a new GP contract for Scotland from 2017, which will see bureaucracy reduced for GPs to give them more time with their patients, presenting the opportunity to go even further to tackle health inequalities in communities; welcomes Sir Lewis Ritchie’s review of out-of-hours primary care and the Scottish Government’s commitment to work with partners to implement his findings; further welcomes the planned increase in GP training places and support for return to practice schemes to aid retention and recruitment in general practice, and endorses the aims of the £60 million Primary Care Fund to test new models of care, support the primary care workforce and enhance patient access.

SNP Pushing Vulnerable Households into Fuel Poverty

Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for Public Services, Dr Richard Simpson MSP, has raised a question with the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights on the progress the Scottish Government has made toward achieving its target to eliminate people living in fuel poverty by November 2016.

This issue was raised by Dr Simpson following the publishing of the Scottish House Condition Survey which has found that 940,000 households in Scotland were living in fuel poverty in 2013. This is an increase of 4% from the previous year.

Fuel poverty is defined by a need to spend more than 10% of its income on all household fuel use, in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime.

The National Record of Scotland has also published a report which showed that there were 22,011 registered deaths in Scotland in winter 2014/15, the highest level since winter 1999/2000.

Dr Simpson has therefore asked for assurances from the Minister that the target is now back on track and will be met by November 2016.

Dr Richard Simpson MSP said:

“Figures show that, far from reaching or achieving the fuel poverty target, fuel poverty peaked in 2013, with almost 1million houses, or 4 in 10 of all households in Scotland, living in fuel poverty, with 252,000 of those in extreme fuel poverty. The reality is that people will face the devastating choice of whether to heat their home or provide food for the table.

“Winter deaths in Scotland last year were also at their highest for 15 years and this is very worrying. It is the cold, hard-to-heat homes continue to leave the most vulnerable in our society at the mercy of cold weather each winter.

“Nicola Sturgeon said we should judge the SNP Government on its record. The recent statistics show a failing record to plan for the long-term. Winter is coming and the real concern for people across the country is that this will be repeated again this year.”


Scottish House Conditions Survey


Winter deaths

Data from the National Records of Scotland show there were 22,011 deaths registered in the four months between December 2014 and March 2015.

The number is up from 18,675 the previous season and the highest since the winter of 1999/00.