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Hospital review after over 200 ops are axed

PUBLISHED: 16:38 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 25 August 2010

AN NHS trust which cancelled more than 200 operations in the last year has vowed to review its procedures.

AN NHS trust which cancelled more than 200 operations in the last year has vowed to review its procedures.

Government figures obtained by the Conservatives last Thursday show that Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust cancelled 209 operations last year.

Obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the figures reveal that, unusually, all of the cancellations were made by the hospital itself, not by patients.

This is the latest warning that the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, is already overstretched despite being earmarked for taking on extra patients following a decision to close A&E and maternity services at Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup.

But a spokesperson for Bromley Hospitals claimed that the Trust was committed to reducing the number of cancelled operations to the lowest possible figure.

A spokesperson for Bromley Hospitals said: "We have been reviewing our systems and the actions required to reduce cancellations, including capacity planning to allow for rebooking of cancelled patients."

Across the country, more than 100,000 NHS operations were cancelled last year for non-clinical reasons.

One patient had an operation cancelled 21 times and a third of trusts cancelled an operation for the same patient at least three times.

In comparison, Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust cancelled 47 out of total of 355 cancellations last year and Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust cancelled 109 out of 2, 587.

A spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust said: "It is fair to say that we have a relatively small number of operation cancellations considering we perform about 30,000 operations a year. So we are very pleased in that respect.

"However we also recognise that even one cancelled operation is not good enough and we will strive to improve the situation."

Shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said: "Having an operation cancelled can cause huge distress for patients and their families. It's simply unacceptable that these figures are so high - and that the Government is spinning the official statistics to try to hide them."

77 per cent of NHS Trusts responded to the Conservatives' FOI request.

Nationally, 400 operations were cancelled because the patient's notes had been lost, over 10,000 because of bed shortages, nearly 4,000 because of equipment failure and over 11,000 because of staffing shortages.

For the full list of NHS operations cancelled last year visit www.performance.doh.gov.uk/hospitalactivity/data_requests/cancelled_operations.htm.

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