When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire hospitals cancel 4,000 operations
MORE than 4,000 operations have been cancelled by Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals in the last five years.
About half of the elective procedures were cancelled by the hospitals with less than 24 hours notice, according to data obtained by the Lancashire Telegraph under Freedom of Information laws.
There was a big increase in cancellations last year, as staff at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust struggled to cope with a surge in 999 patients during the winter months.
Patients needing emergency care take priority over those needing an ‘elective’ procedure, such as a hip relacement.
But staff shortages, which were cited by NHS inspectors in a highly-critical report on the hospitals last month, are also likely to have affected the figures.
There were 786 elective operations cancelled in 2012/13, compared to 438 in 2011/12.
However, last year’s figure was about half that reported in 2008/09, when 1,468 procedures were called off due an extreme surge in demand.
There were 453 cancellations in 2009/10 and 343 in 2010/11.
Ron O’Keeffe, chair of the health overview and scrutiny committee at Blackburn with Darwen Coun- cil, said: “If the hospitals haven’t got enough staff to do the work they are scheduled to do then they must recruit more.”
ELHT had more last minute cancellations than most other hospital trusts last year, although the total number of elective cancellations represented about one per cent of the overall number of procedures (including non-elective).
Gill Simpson, divisional general manager for surgery at ELHT, said a large proportion of the cancellations were due to a combination of ‘bed pressures’ and the need to operate on emergency patients.
She added: “2008/09 was a particularly challenging year for the trust in terms of coping with winter pressures. Sixty per cent of the total cancellations for the year occurred between the months of December 2008 and February 2009.”
FATHER'S ANGER AFTER OP IS PUT BACK TWICE
DAD-of-two Tony Bruce has criticised Burnley General Hospital after two operations on his broken arm were cancelled at short notice.
The 39-year-old, of Leven Street, Burnley, fractured his arm in seven places in a nasty accident on his bicycle last month.
The limb was plastered promptly, but surgery, initially scheduled for three days after the accident, was cancelled on two occasions.
He finally had the operation three weeks later, but he now fears there will be complications due to the delay.
Consultants had to rebreak the bones before starting work, as they had started ‘knitting back together’, Mr Bruce said.
He added: “The surgeon told me he’d done his best, but I’m really scared about it now. I won’t be able to work if my arm is deformed, and I’ll consider taking legal action.
“The first time they cancelled they had run out of time, but the second time they never gave a reason.”
Comments are closed on this article.