Leeds hospitals top table for cancelled operations

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Hospitals in Leeds had the highest number of cancelled operations in England for the second quarter of the year, new figures show.

Between July and September this year, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust cancelled 565 planned operations at the last minute due to non-medical reasons.

Targets call for patients affected by these type of cancellations to be treated within 28 days, but the statistics from the Department of Health show 56 patients from Leeds were not treated within that time.

The trust with the second highest total in Yorkshire was Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, with 275 cancellations.

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Sheffield sees the most patients in the region and Leeds is also one of the country’s largest acute trusts.

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We are one of the biggest and busiest trusts in the country doing thousands of operations every month across our hospitals.

“Our staff try very hard not to postpone operations unless this is absolutely essential as we fully appreciate how upsetting this is for our patients.

“At the same time, our hospitals have been dealing high numbers of emergency and acute patients who are admitted unexpectedly and need surgery very quickly.

“Ensuring they have safe and timely care is an important priority for us.”

A report to the last Leeds Teaching Hospitals board meeting said issues affecting the cancellation of operations included pressure on the hospital and the availability of beds.

The figures for Sheffield hospitals show a sharp drop in cancelled operations, from 462 between April and June to 275 between July and September.

Kirsten Major, director of strategy and operations at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “During the last three months we carried out over 33,000 operations and fewer than 276 were cancelled, which is less than 1 per cent.

“However, we don’t want to cancel any operations if we can help it because we know how distressing this is for patients and their families. That is why we have introduced a number of changes which have reduced cancellations by almost 50 per cent in the last 12 months and that work will continue.”

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