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Number of last-minute operation cancellations at West Suffolk Hospital increases 36 per cent




The number of operations cancelled at the last minute at West Suffolk Hospital has increased by 36 per cent.

In the three months to September, 113 non-urgent operations – such as hip or knee procedures – were cancelled, according to figures from NHS England.

This made up just 3.2 per cent of the 3,460 elective operations scheduled at the hospital, but was a 36 per cent increase in cancellations on the same period in 2017. Then, there were 83 last-minute cancellations for non-clinical reasons, such as bed or staff shortages.

West Suffolk Hospital Bury St Edmunds Picture Mark Westley (5557369)
West Suffolk Hospital Bury St Edmunds Picture Mark Westley (5557369)

Helen Beck, chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We do all that we can to limit the cancellation of elective operations, but on occasion do have to postpone less urgent operations to another day to prioritise our sickest patients.”

If the trust cannot reschedule within 28 days it must fund the treatment in another hospital. It also forfeits its payment from West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group

However, 17 per cent of patients were not treated within 28 days between July and September, – an increase on the previous year, when 16 per cent of patients were not treated within 28 days.



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