The number of last-minute surgery cancellations at Leeds hospitals which were not re-booked within 28 days - a national ‘zero-tolerance’ standard - has more then tripled over the past year.
Bosses at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust have admitted 277 breaches in 2016/17 - three times higher than the 83 breaches in 2015/16 - of the NHS-wide rule that all patients who have operations cancelled at the last-minute for non-clinical reasons are offered another date within 28 days.
The overall number of last-minute cancellations had also increased, from 1,400 in 2015/16, to 1,985 in 2016/17.
The figures rank the trust 144th out of 161 hospital trusts in England.
Suzanne Hinchliffe, deputy chief executive at the trust, told the Yorkshire Evening Post that, in line with the rest of the country, they had seen a “sustained period” of pressure on services from a high number of emergency admissions and bed-blocking over a prolonged winter period which have had a
““significant impact” on the number of beds for surgery.
She said: “When we have no alternative but to postpone an operation we do try very hard to reschedule them within 28 days. Regrettably the sustained capacity issues we have seen have sometimes made this impossible, despite the best efforts of our staff and a number of measures put in place to help free up bed capacity.”
She apologised to those affected, adding the situation had improved since April but “significant challenges remain”.