Patients see a rise in cancelled operations at Sheffield hospitals

The number of cancelled operations went up in January
The number of cancelled operations went up in January
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Hospitals in Sheffield saw a rise in cancelled operations due to an increased lack of beds, staffing issues and problems with theatres.

In December, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals - which runs the Hallamshire, Northern General, Jessop Maternity Wing and Weston Park sites - saw 82 cancelled operations.

But the latest figures for January saw 150 operations that were axed by staff - a 55 per cent increase.

Bosses said a lack of bed availability is linked to the 'increase in delays and subsequent decrease in discharges' and the 'increased bed occupancy'.

Hospital chiefs also cited that in January, the cancelled operations rate was just over one per cent.

Figures from the reports drawn up by hospital bosses show 37 per cent of cancellations were down to 'bed availability', 15 per cent to 'staffing issues' and nine per cent due to problems with operating theatres.

The majority of the axed operations came at the Northern General Hospital with 65 per cent while the Hallamshire had 35 per cent of the January cancellations.

Heart, lung and skeletal sugeries made up a third of all cancelled procedures.

Kirsten Major, deputy chief executive at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said: “We try our upmost not to postpone operations because we know how distressing this is for patients and their families. However during the Winter period the increase in emergency patients means we sometimes have no option other than to postpone some operations and prioritise the emergency patients.

"January was exceptionally busy in terms of emergency patients but thanks to the hard work of our staff we actually performed almost 500 more operations with 2,850 in total compared to December.

"The percentage of operations cancelled in January was just over one per cent. In December it was just under 0.8 per cent.

"Patients can be assured that we never take the decision to postpone an operation lightly and only after we have explored all the alternative options.”