This report by the Audit Commission reveals that 10% of operations are cancelled, representing about 300,000 operating slots each year. The causes of cancellation were found to be staff taking leave at short notice and unscheduled maintenance. There was a wide disparity in cancellation rates between hospitals and although the average was 10%, some of the poor performers had a 30% rate. The Audit Commission believes that the cancellation rate could be halved with tighter management and this would create an additional 150,000 operating slots per year. There was also criticism of time keeping for theatre sessions. Although 90% of session started on time, this fell to 32% in some cases.
Published by the Audit Commission <http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk>