674 op­er­a­tions can­celled at NHS Highland

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A TO­TAL of 674 op­er­a­tions were can­celled at NHS Highland in 2016, new fig­ures have re­vealed.

High­lands and Is­lands MSP Dave Ste­wart ( Labour) said the prob­lem was that hos­pi­tals could not cope with the in­creased de­mand un­der cur­rent fi­nan­cial pres­sures.

NHS Highland and Ar­gyll and Bute Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship ( HSCP) has been asked to make sav­ings across the board, cut­ting to its bud­get by up to £ 22 mil­lion over the next five years.

NHS Highland and the HSCP have also ad­mit­ted dif­fi­cul­ties in re­cruit­ing staff to the area as a ma­jor con­cern. Analysis from Scot­tish Labour found 7,740 op­er­a­tions were can­celled across Scot­land in 2016 be­cause of a lack of ca­pac­ity, equip­ment or staff to carry them out – an av­er­age of 21 per day.

Mr Ste­wart said: ‘ The fig­ures back up NHS staff con­cerns about grow­ing pres­sures and the long-term so­lu­tion is to in­vest in so­cial care to take pres­sure off hos­pi­tal re­sources.’

He con­tin­ued: ‘ The SNP-Green bud­get is set to cut a fur­ther £170 mil­lion from lo­cal hos­pi­tal bud­gets in the com­ing year, tak­ing the to­tal to £1.5 bil­lion of cuts since 2011.

‘ Ev­ery day NHS staff tell us that they are un­der pres­sure and un­der-re­sourced.

‘ Now that we see that 674 planned op­er­a­tions were can­celled last year, we know it was be­cause hos­pi­tals across NHS Highland did not have the ca­pac­ity to cope. A decade of SNP mis­man­age­ment of our NHS means pa­tients are be­ing let down be­cause hos­pi­tals are not get­ting the sup­port they need.

‘ NHS staff are per­form­ing as best they can un­der dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances, but the lack of sup­port makes their job even harder. It’s no won­der only one-third of NHS staff think they have enough col­leagues to do their job prop­erly.

‘ The way to take the pres­sure off of our hos­pi­tals is to prop­erly in­vest in so­cial care. In­stead, the SNP- Green bud­get means more lo­cal gov­ern­ment cuts on top of the £1.5 bil­lion slashed by the SNP since 2011.’

A spokesman for NHS Highland said: ‘ The de­ci­sion to can­cel a pa­tient is not one that we take lightly and all ef­forts are made to en­sure that any can­cel­la­tions are kept to a min­i­mum.

‘Any pa­tients who have been can­celled are pri­ori­tised and re­booked as quickly as pos­si­ble.’

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