Shock surge in urgent ops axed in Wigan

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary
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Hospital bosses have apologised after a surge in the number of urgent operations being cancelled.

New data from NHS England shows Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) axed 15 urgent procedures in February.

One of these was cancelled for the second time or more, according to the information.

The number of cancellations was the eighth highest when compared to other trusts in England, with North Bristol NHS Trust topping the table with 31.

Across England, 343 urgent procedures were scrapped in February, with 13 for the second time or more.

The 15 cancellations in the borough were a spike in the figures for the trust. For the rest of 2017-18, only two urgent surgeries were cancelled, both of which were in December.

NHS England suggests “urgent” operations are procedures which are needed for immediate life, limb or organ-saving intervention, where acute onset or deterioration of conditions threaten life, limb or organ, and where a stable patient requires early intervention. The target time for these surgeries can be minutes, hours or days.

The data includes all urgent operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons, not just those axed at the last minute.

Mary Fleming, director of operations and performance at the trust, said: “Unfortunately, a combination of emergency cases and unforeseen circumstances resulted in the trust having to cancel 11 patients in February listed as requiring ‘urgent’ elective treatment.

“The remaining patients were reviewed as clinically routine. All clinically urgent patients were accommodated within 14 days of having their procedure cancelled.

“WWL would like to apologise for the inconvenience this caused to patients.”

The Post has previously reported that the number of elective operations cancelled at the last minute at Wigan’s hospitals had risen.

Last year a total of 855 elective operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons, which was a 19.2 per cent increase on the 717 procedures scrapped in 2016.

The trust said the main reasons were bed shortages, the lack of theatre time, at the request of the patient or the patient not attending.