SOME 17 orthopaedic procedures have been postponed at NHS Ayrshire and Arran in the past two weeks following an increase in trauma emergencies.

The figures came to the surface after it was revealed Scotland’s NHS is facing claims of a “winter meltdown” after some hospitals were forced to cancel operations due to soaring pressure on A&E departments.

Liz Moore, Director for Acute Services, said: “NHS Ayrshire & Arran is continuing to carry out planned and elective procedures.

“We regret that we have had to postpone 17 orthopaedic procedures over the past two weeks due to an increase of orthopaedic trauma emergencies. These types of cases are not unusual for this time of year.

“While we will assess the numbers of emergency trauma orthopaedic cases each day, we have no plans in place to cancel all elective orthopaedic surgical procedures in January.

“We apologise to each patient who has had their planned surgery postponed because of the rise in emergency trauma cases.

“Each patient receives a call from our staff informing them of the decision to cancel their surgery on the scheduled day. 

“The patient would be re-booked for their surgery as soon as possible and remains at the top of the surgery scheduled lists.

"Each patient will receive a letter informing them of their new scheduled date of surgery.”

Professor Derek Bell, Chairman of the Scottish Academy, said: “The Scottish Academy recognises the current challenges faced across the NHS in Scotland.

“A whole-system approach to tackling this is required to ensure that hospitals can manage their priorities and continue to deliver safe patient care.”