Last minute cancellation of surgery

ALMOST 90 patients had to put up with the stress of their operation being cancelled at the last minute between April and June this year.

According to figures from the Department of Health there were 87 procedures called off by the local hospital trust, which runs the Conquest and Eastbourne’s DGH, during this period.

The figure was exactly the same for the corresponding three-month span in 2010.

Across Sussex fewer patients saw their their operations cancelled, as 260 were called off in the county over the same period this year, a drop of 20 per cent on the previous year.

The data relates to operations booked in advance such as hip replacements and cataract removals.

Hospital are required to offer an alternative date with 28 days.

Tom Gurney, spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We understand 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.”