Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

NHS patients facing delays for operations

NHS patients facing delays for operations

Some 55,000 operations will be affected by the delays.

"Any patients who do have a hospital appointment delayed, and feel their condition is getting worse, should contact their GP in the first instance for support".

The news comes as the NHS across the country responds to a seasonal crisis with patients said to be at risk in overcrowded hospitals, due to a deluge of patients.

It's after reports hospitals across England are postponing non-urgent surgery until next month. Each winter the pressure on the NHS worsens, and politicians are not taking the long-term view needed to ensure the NHS can keep up with rising demand.

The NHS Five Year Forward View committed to improving the health of the population and recognised the need to build over 200,000 new homes in England each year, and the Department of Health has set a target of 26,000 homes to be built on NHS land.

Theresa May, speaking after visiting homeowners who had benefited from stamp duty reforms in Berkshire, paid tribute to NHS staff and pledged operations would be rescheduled "as soon as possible".

"They are doing an absolutely heroic job". "Staff morale is at an all-time low and I truly feel sorry for these dedicated professionals who really care and are doing a tremendous job in hard circumstances".

The director of operations at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust Simon Evans confirmed the organisation had seen a "high number of very sick patients with complex needs" and that it had cancelled a "small number of planned operations" - including four yesterday (Tuesday).

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Attending booked appointments is a "small but effective" way to help, she said.

She said nearly 8m hospital appointments were missed every year - not including appointments cancelled in advance - which equated to nearly £1bn, with each outpatient appointment costing the NHS about £120 in 2016-17.

However, Unite's national officer for health, Sarah Carpenter, said the Government has "put the NHS in intensive care" by failing to provide sufficient funding to secure its future.

"It is completely unacceptable that the 85% bed occupancy target for general and acute hospital services has been missed every quarter for more than seven years, resulting in patient safety being compromised on a regular basis".

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has since spoken out about the severe NHS shortages, apologizing for the mass cancellations of non-urgent operations across the UK.

"I am extremely proud of the outstanding service they provide and can not thank colleagues enough for their dedication, additional hours worked and the care they provide to each other, as well as our patients, when the going gets tough".

Mrs Cooper also said that a planned Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Lancashire and South Cumbria would see the area having to save £534m. - a move she believes will cause even more pressures in the future.

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