» Thursday, March 3, 2005

Cancelled Operations

Asked if the Margaret Dickson case should be dealt with on an individual basis, the PMOS said, as he had briefed yesterday, that it was the Government’s view that it was wrong to elevate one case into a generalisation about the health service. In terms of the cancellation of operation, he repeated that the percentage of cancelled operations as a proportion of the overall number of operations carried out by the health service each year had not varied much. It went from 1.2% in 1996/7 to the same figure in 2003/4, with an increase to 1.5%. There was then action taken to reduce the figure. What had happened was that there was 450,000 more operations per year then there were in 1997. Therefore, in terms of numbers, it was inevitable that there would be more cancelled operations. As a proportion, however, it remained the same.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news


  1. OK. So the PMOS feels that ‘proportion’ is what should be considered rather than an absolute figure. Presumably the PMOS understands that if 1.2% was not satisfactory in 1996/7, 1.2% or more is not satisfactory in 2004/5.

    Basic statistical claptrap like this does not enlighten, inform or serve to resolve the systemic failures. Wasn’t the idea of all this effort and funding to reduce the overall numbers of cancellations, be that expressed in percentage or absolute terms?

    Comment by chuck unsworth — 6 Mar 2005 on 4:52 pm | Link
  2. If you think that this is a debacle – just wait for the implementation of ‘patient choice’.

    I have spent 20 years as a World expert on waiting times and resource allocation. I have e-mailed my MP who has sent my comment to John Reid – surprisingly [not] he isn’t interested.

    From the Audit Commission report and a discussion with one of the authors, I know that the underlying modeling is flawed. Using their formulae I can prove it – aww let’s just do like them and ‘wait and see’ – after all its only a few thousand people’s lives and we already killed more than that [ during this government’s period in office] with lax drink drive laws.

    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 7 Mar 2005 on 11:29 pm | Link
  3. This is the problem with modern politics; the desire to be a force for good no longer exists. The only desire is to be SEEN as a force for good, and if that means cooking the books, then so be it.

    The only way the whole of the NHS is ever going to be sorted out (same as for the railways and most of the rest of the country) is if cronyism from the highest levels down disappears. That’s why nothing ever gets done – too many people trying to justify their jobs instead of actually doing useful things. Tis a sad world…

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 8 Mar 2005 on 3:40 am | Link

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


March 2005
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Feb   Apr »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh