300 operations were cancelled in 2016

Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary
Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary

Over 300 operations were cancelled in 2016 because hospitals in Dumfries and Galloway did not have the resources to cope, said a Labour MSP this week.

Analysis from Scottish Labour on figures from Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland, the information division of the nation’s NHS, found that 7,740 operations were cancelled across Scotland in 2016 because of a lack of capacity, equipment or staff to carry them out.

That works out at an average of 21 a day.

This resulted in 313 operations cancelled between both Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and Galloway Community Hospital.

Labour’s Colin Smyth MSP said the figures backed up NHS staff concerns about growing pressures and said the long-term solution is to invest in social care to take pressure off hospital resources.

MSP Colin Smyth said: “Every single day NHS staff tell us that they are under pressure and under resourced due to Government cuts.

“Now we see that despite the best efforts of the NHS locally, close to 313 planned operations were cancelled last year because hospitals across Dumfries and Galloway did not have the capacity to cope.

“NHS staff are performing as best they can under difficult circumstances, but the lack of support from the SNP government makes their job even harder.

“It’s no wonder than 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.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said Scotland’s NHS carried out almost 900 operations every day and that decisions to cancel planned procedures were “never taken lightly”.

She added: “Over the last few months, the percentage of operations cancelled for capacity or non-clinical reasons remained stable – representing a very small percentage of the overall number of scheduled procedures taking place.

“Health boards work to ensure disruption to patients is always kept to an absolute minimum, and any postponed procedures will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.”