Increase in cancelled operations for over-75s in Lothian

HOSPITALS in Lothian are postponing an increasing number of operations for patients over 75 - and there are fears with an ageing population the problem will only get worse.

Monday, 26th August 2019, 8:33 am
With an ageing population, the fear is the problem will get worse

A total of 1985 admissions for over-75s were cancelled last year - more than 10 per cent up on the previous year.

Official figures also show 173 admissions were cancelled twice - up from 102 in 2017 - and 28 three times - up from 20.

Lothian MSP and Tory health spokesman Miles Briggs said: “There are always going to be some operations that have to be cancelled and rescheduled, but for the number to be so high for patients aged 75 and over is alarming.

“High demand for services in NHS Lothian means staff are under constant strain to try and meet waiting targets, without being given the resources to do this.”

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He said NHS Lothian had been consistently underfunded for years and called for swift action to provide extra cash to the health board.

Mr Briggs said: “Edinburgh and the Lothian’s have the fastest growing population in Scotland, creating more demand on a health board that is already under pressure.

“The number of older people in Edinburgh is expected to increase by 14 per cent by 2025, meaning an even greater demand on operations for people aged 75 and over.

“SNP ministers must invest more funds in NHS Lothian before the growing population impacts further on services and waiting times.”Jacquie Campbell, chief officer for acute services at NHS Lothian, said: “We aim to reschedule any postponed admissions as quickly as possible and apologise to anyone who has had their admission rescheduled.

“We know that it can cause inconvenience and distress for patients, their carers and families and that is why it is a decision that is never taken lightly.

“There are some unavoidable circumstances which sometimes cause admissions to be rescheduled, including emergencies which have to receive priority, be treated quickly, and cannot be planned for. Our priority is to provide safe, good quality care for everyone.”