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Almost 500 operations postponed across Scottish hospitals last week

From BBC - January 15, 2018

Hospitals across Scotland had to postpone almost 500 non-urgent operations last week.

The figures were gathered by the BBC from health boards across the country.

A rapid rise in flu cases and a spell of severe weather has put additional pressure on the NHS.

Last week, 489 operations were cancelled and due to be rescheduled. This compares with a figure of 704 across Scottish hospitals for the whole month of January last year.

Health Secretary Shona Robison has said some patients may have to wait longer for routine procedures and outpatient appointments.

Last week both she and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologised to patients who had faced delays for treatment as a result of winter strain on the health service.

Nicola Sturgeon said NHS Scotland was facing "exceptional" pressures but coping despite difficult circumstances.

BBC Scotland asked health boards to provide a figure for the number of planned non-urgent operations cancelled in the second week in January.

In the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area 149 operations were postponed. For NHS Lothians the figure was 130 and in NHS Tayside a total of 47 operations had to be rescheduled.

The health boards in Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, as well as NHS Grampian, did not postpone any operations.

On Monday, Health Secretary Ms Robison visited Monklands Hospital in Lanarkshire to thank staff there for their hard work over the last few weeks.

It has been one of the best performing hospitals in Scotland, routinely hitting the Scottish government's A&E performance target of dealing with 95% of patients within four hours.

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