Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the Labour party today, about some FOI numbers it's gotten hold of https://t.co/abKijDB8BA— Ed Conway (@EdConwaySky) 4 November 2019
Note, "All time high."
The tweet that provoked this, from Jonathan Ashwoth, Labour's Health and Social Care Secretary:
A decade of the Tory NHS:— Jonathan Ashworth (@JonAshworth) 4 November 2019
🔹Tightest funding squeeze in history, cuts to public heath & social care
🔹Over 15,000 bed cuts
🔹Short of 100,000 staff
🔹Hospital repair bill ballooned to £6.5 bn
It means 80,000 cancelled operations & record waiting lists. https://t.co/ovPDmQEtMt
Nothing there about cancelled operations at an all time high.
The Ashworth tweet links to a statement put out by Labour which also does not make the claim Conway (using the weaselly "the impression you might have been left with") inveigles into the debate:
New data obtained by Labour through FOIs has revealed a huge increase in the number of cancelled operations because of staffing issues and equipment failures.Again, nothing in there to justify Conway's disingenuous claim. It's odd he would put these words into a Twitter thread where he then goes onto do some really detailed statistical analysis ... Unless, of course, he was just trying to create a false impression about what Labour were claiming, or wasn't very good at his job.
Last year, 78,981 operations were cancelled. These operations were either classed as urgent or were elective operations cancelled at the last minute – either on the day the patient was due to arrive in hospital or after they had already arrived.
The number of operations cancelled because of staffing issues and equipment failures have each increased by a third in two years. Last year, 10,900 were cancelled because of staffing issues and 4800 were cancelled because of equipment failures.
There are currently over 100,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, with shortages of 10,000 doctors and 43,000 nurses. Cuts to NHS Capital Budgets have left the health service with a £6.5 billion repair bill.