More than 7,000 NHS operations cancelled more than once last year

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Indy Lifestyle Online

More than 7,000 patients had an NHS operation cancelled more than once in the past year, figures from the Conservatives reveal today.

One patient had an operation cancelled 21 times and around a third (34 per cent) of trusts cancelled an operation for the same patient three times or more.

The figures were calculated from 124 NHS trusts across England and referred to operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons, including a shortage of beds, missing patient records, staffing problems and a lack of equipment.

According to the statistics, 77,302 operations in total were cancelled for non-clinical reasons. Another patient took precedence in 5,968 cases; 10,714 cases related to a shortage of beds; 16,614 were due to problems relating to the operating theatre and 2,635 were down to administrative problems. Another 3,946 were due to difficulties with equipment, 11,370 related to staffing, 404 operations were cancelled because the patient's notes were missing and 11,585 were due to patient-related problems.

The Tories said that the total number of operations cancelled across England was far higher than those admitted to by the Department of Health.

The department's data shows that the total number of cancelled operations has increased by 14 per cent since 1997.