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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-23401: Tom Mason (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 22 May 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what the average rescheduled waiting time is for NHS Scotland patients whose operations are cancelled, broken down by NHS board.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 4 June 2019

The Scottish Government Waiting Times Improvement Plan, launched in October 2018 and backed by more than £850 million, will ensure we further increase capacity, clinical effectiveness and efficiency, and will help implement new models of care that will support the reduction in the number of patient cancellations for non-clinical reasons. We are also working closely with those health boards experiencing the greatest pressures to support immediate and sustainable improvements.

If a patient’s condition deteriorates whilst waiting for a procedure, the patient may contact their GP who can get in touch with the Consultant in order to discuss their case and consider whether a more urgent appointment might be more appropriate.

If a patient has their operation cancelled NHS Boards will aim to rebook them as soon as possible. Clinical urgency always takes precedence.

The decision for a board to postpone an elective procedure is never taken lightly. We continue to work closely with health boards to ensure cancellations are kept to a minimum and that any postponed procedures will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.

As you will be aware there are a number of reasons why operations can be cancelled including, at the request of the patient and based on clinical reasons. Clearly, if a patient is not clinically able to have an operation, the right course of action is that it doesn’t go ahead.

This information is not centrally available.