Surge in cancelled operations in England
More than 20,000 NHS operations were cancelled at the last minute between January and March 2015 in England. It is the highest proportion of operations – one in every 100 – that have been cancelled in two years. Hospitals should offer an alternative date or private treatment within 28 days, but the proportion not being seen is the highest in a decade. NHS England said the cancellations were low in light of “unprecedented” demand on the health service.
The NHS figures show 20,464 operations out of more than 1.9 million were cancelled in the three month period, up from 17,868 for the same quarter last year, so a rise of over 14%. The figures also show 1,787 – just under 9% – of those patients were not seen within the 28 day limit. Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust had the most cancellations with 648.
An NHS England spokesman said: “Cancellations should be avoided wherever possible as we recognise the concerns that patients face when this happens.
However, the level of cancellations in this quarter has remained low in the context of the millions of operations performed in the NHS each year, and the unprecedented level of demand we have seen across the whole health system this winter.”
Julie Crossley, a medical injury lawyer at Ashtons Legal, comments: “It is an accepted fact that on occasions routine surgeries have to be cancelled to accommodate emergencies but an increase in cancellations causes a backlog, creates anxiety for those who are waiting for surgery, health deterioration and in the worst case scenarios could lead to litigation.”
How can we help?
If you have an enquiry or you would like to find out more about our services, why not contact us?