Over 7,000 operations were cancelled in Lothian in 2018 because hospitals could not cope, new figures reveal.

Almost 26 per cent of the operations cancelled last year in Lothian was because of a lack of hospital capacity or for non-clinical reasons like a lack of staff or clean equipment.

The figures also show a 11.5% per cent increase on 2017, and come as the government missed its target to publish an NHS workforce plan by the end of January.

Labour said the figures showed the ‘exceptional strain’ on the health service. 

Neil Findlay MSP said:

“Having an operation cancelled is undoubtedly distressing for people, but last year 6977 operations were cancelled in Lothian because our hospitals could not cope.

“These figures are unacceptable and show the exceptional strain our health service is facing, with more and more surgeries cancelled due to a lack of space or staff.

“The SNP have been in charge of our NHS for over a decade but have failed to ensure it has the right mix of staff to deliver the care patients need.

They promised a workforce plan to try to solve this mess but that’s been delayed too.

“Unlike the SNP, Scottish Labour would focus on what our NHS needs and deliver real improvements for patients and staff.”

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