Hospital sees an increase in number of cancelled ops

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MORE operations at the Conquest Hospital have had to be cancelled at the last minute this year, compared to 2011, according to figures released.

Between January and the end of June, 237 in total were postponed across the Conquest and its sister hospital, Eastbourne DGH.

In 2011 during the same six-month period the total number stood at 183.

There were 138 cancelled operations, between January and March this year, 22 of which were at the Conquest, on The Ridge.

Out of the other 99 that got postponed between April and June, 35 were at the Conquest.

Tom Gurney, spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs both the Conquest and Eastbourne DGH, said: “The Trust understands the inconvenience and distress the cancellation of any operation causes and goes to every effort to minimise this but, regrettably, there are occasions when this cannot be avoided. We make every effort to rebook cancelled operations within 28 days.

“We are working hard with our community and social partners to reduce the rate of cancelled operations, despite the growing increase in demand for emergency beds, and are actively working to improve the situation further.

“The Trust is currently holding a public consultation over our clinical strategy Shaping our Future, which aims to improve health services in East Sussex. Part of this includes plans to reduce the number of operations that are cancelled on the day of surgery.”

Under Shaping our Future, changes are set to be made to general surgery services, musculoskeletal and orthopaedic services, and stroke services.

Up to 15 patients a day will have to travel either to Eastbourne or Hastings, NHS bosses admitted, if the proposals come into effect.

General surgery deals with abdominal organs, such as the stomach and intestines, and the higher risk and emergency work will be based at either the Conquest or DGH.

Emergency orthopaedics, such as fractured hips, would also be centralised at one or the other hospital, similarly with stroke services.

The consultation ends on September 28.

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