Cancelled planned operations
An Official Statistics publication for Scotland
Month Ending 31 May 2022
- 05 July 2022
- Statistical report
- Public Health Scotland
- Waiting times
About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides a monthly update on the number of operations in NHSScotland that were cancelled the day before, or on the day the patient was due to be treated.
- The total number of planned operations across NHSScotland during May 2022 was 21,895. This represents an increase of 19% from 18,392 in April 2022 and is 9% higher than the number planned in May 2021. When compared to February 2020, prior to the pandemic, there were 20.8% fewer operations planned, down from 27,645.
- In May 2022, 1,911 operations, or 8.7% of all planned operations, were cancelled the day before or on the day the patient was due to be treated. This represents a decrease from 9.3% reported in the previous month and remains comparable to pre-pandemic levels. Across NHSScotland Boards, this percentage ranged from 2.9% to 13.4% during the latest month.
- Of all planned operations during May 2022, 667 (3.0%) were cancelled by the hospital based on clinical reasons, 483 (2.2%) were cancelled by the hospital due to capacity or non-clinical reasons, 665 (3.0%) were cancelled by the patient and 96 (0.4%) were cancelled due to other reasons. The rate of cancellations by patients has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
These statistics are released monthly. Data for this publication are submitted from NHS Board theatre systems. Further information on the reasons for cancellation can be found on the Cancelled Planned Operations section of our website.
The services involved have been affected throughout the course of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. In the early stages of the outbreak most non-urgent treatment was paused or reduced and there were fewer referrals to services. Since then, services were remobilised but capacity was often restrained by the requirement for additional infection control measures. In addition, further waves of the virus have slowed the recovery of services due to the need to again pause or reduce services for reasons such as increased staff absence or the need to divert resources because of an increase in unscheduled hospitalisations.
The next release of this publication will be 2 August 2022. .
A selection of information from this publication is included in NHS Performs. NHS Performs is a website that brings together a range of information on how hospitals and NHS Boards within NHSScotland are performing.
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Older versions of this publication
Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.