City hospitals are feeling the strain of the festival season after a number of procedures were cancelled or postponed for patient safety reasons amid growing concerns over Edinburgh’s capability to deal with increased visitor numbers.
NHS Lothian have delayed more than 60 procedures this month in order to ensure “safe care” for patients after recent figures revealed more than 340,000 people passed through Waverley Station during the first weekend of the festival.
Health bosses were forced to apologise after four more operations were cancelled on Thursday, despite recent NHS Lothian figures revealing more than 1300 patients waited for over 12 weeks for a procedure.
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Health boards are required to carry out operations within 12 weeks of recommendation under Scottish law.
Speaking to a national newspaper, NHS Lothian medical director Tracey Gillies said: “During the Edinburgh Festival, the number of people needing our help increases.”
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“We make extensive plans for this period but occasionally it is necessary to reschedule some procedures to ensure we can provide safe, good-quality care for everyone.”
Last August, NHS Lothian cancelled 78 operations for non-clinical reasons.