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NHS Borders: Cancelled operations double

Borders General Hospital Credit: ITV Border

NHS Borders have put the high level of cancelled operations in August down to a failure in a specialist ventilation system used in the operating theatre.

Explaining the health board’s commitment to patient safety, Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services said:

I recognise that a cancelled procedure is extremely frustrating for a patient and their family. The safety and clinical needs of our patients will always be considered first.

The failure of the laminar air flow system has had quite an impact on our theatre cancellations this month. Immediate action was taken to fix the problem with this highly specialist piece of equipment, but it did mean that one of the theatres was out of action for four days.

August also saw a high number of emergency admissions requiring surgery, which meant that in nine cases, the emergency procedures took clinical priority.

No one takes a decision to cancel a procedure lightly – it matters too much to our patients - and a dedicated piece of work is underway to improve our performance in this area.”

– Evelyn Rodger, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Acute Services

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland and health spokesperson, has said that the SNP Government needs address why NHS Borders is continuing to cancel operations for non-clinical reasons.

The comments came after the numbers released show the percentage of cancelled operations in NHS Borders is higher than the national average.

The latest statistics show that 7.7% of operations were cancelled in the Borders due to capacity or non-clinical reasons in August, twice that of recent months (3.8% in July and 3.9% in June).

7.7%
of operations were cancelled in the Borders due to capacity or non-clinical reasons in August.

Mr Hume commented:

Questions need to be asked of the Health Secretary as to why NHS Borders is continually being forced to cancel operations due to capacity or non-clinical reasons, and why there’s now a doubling of cancellations since June.

Clearly the SNP Government isn’t putting enough support where it should be, resulting in staff shortages and added pressure on existing staff. That’s no good for patient health and safety, and it’s no good for staff morale.

A lack of support from the SNP government means our hard working NHS staff are consistently being asked to do more with less, and patients are being made to take the hit through cancelled operations.”

– Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP

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