Too many operations continue to be cancelled in the Scottish Borders because of a lack of resources, local MP John Lamont has said.
The latest set of statistics show that in October, 50 scheduled operations were cancelled by NHS Borders for a variety of reasons. Half of these were cancelled because for “capacity or non-clinical reasons”. This is defined as a shortage of staff, beds or equipment or because a previous theatre session overran. Scotland wide, only 24% of cancelled operations fell in this category.
Also this week, separate statistics show there were 62 nurse vacancies in NHS Borders, including 11 posts which had been vacant for more than 3 months. Although nurse vacancies in NHS Borders have fallen slightly since June, they remain 26 per cent higher than September last year.
John Lamont MP has repeatedly raised this issue of cancelled operations and recruitment at NHS Borders. Ahead of the Scottish Government setting its budget he is calling for NHS Borders to be better resourced so that it can tackle these issues.
John Lamont MP said: “I know that staff at NHS Borders are acutely aware of the problems surrounding both cancelled operations and recruitment of staff.
“Cancellations are a waste of resources and an inconvenience to patients. It is concerning that in NHS Borders, half of all cancellations are down to a lack of resources and this is an issue which simply won’t go away.
“I’ve repeatedly raised these issues and it is now time they take some action. The Scottish Government needs to rethink whether health boards with large rural populations like NHS Borders are being sufficiently resourced.
“With nurse vacancies in particular still a problem, we need to look closely at helping health boards with recruitment.
“Following the UK Government’s budget, the SNP now has more money to spend on our NHS. I’d urge the Cabinet Secretary for Finance to look closely at these figures, which suggest to me NHS Borders needs more support.”