April saw highest number of operations since pre-pandemic

NHS Scotland figures show 17,489 operations took place during April, the most since February 2020.

April saw highest number of operations since pre-pandemic PA Wire
The number of scheduled operations was at the highest figure for a year but was still almost a third down on pre-pandemic levels.

More operations were carried out in Scottish hospitals during April than in any other month since the coronavirus pandemic began, NHS Scotland figures show.

There were 18,630 scheduled operations throughout Scotland, of which 1141 (6.1%) were cancelled. A total of 17,489 operations went ahead.

Scheduled surgeries were up 4.9% from March and 447% higher than April 2020 when the vast majority of planned operations were cancelled or postponed to provide the NHS with additional capacity for the pandemic.

But despite the total number of operations that took place in April 2021 reaching the highest figure since the coronavirus outbreak, it is still down by more than a quarter (26%) since February 2020.

Compared to pre-pandemic, April had 9015 fewer scheduled operations (down 32.6% from February 2020) and 7675 fewer were carried out once cancellations are taken into account.

The latest figures, published by Public Health Scotland, show 518 operations (2.8%) were cancelled by the hospital for clinical reasons, 252 (1.4%) were cancelled by the hospital due to a lack of capacity or other non-clinical reasons, 319 (1.7%) were cancelled by the patient and 52 (0.3%) were cancelled for other reasons such as fire alarms, patient transport being late or weather-related issues.

By health board, NHS Grampian recorded the highest proportion of cancelled operations, with 8.2% of their 2,115 scheduled surgeries, followed by NHS Lanarkshire (7.4% of 1,309) and NHS Shetland (7.3% of 151).

NHS Western Isles had just 2.7% of their 113 operations result in cancellation, followed by NHS Borders (3.5% of 143) and NHS Tayside (4.8% of 1,297).