More surgeries going ahead in Wigan

Fewer operations are being cancelled at the last minute at the borough’s hospitals, new figures reveal.
More procedures are going ahead as plannedMore procedures are going ahead as planned
More procedures are going ahead as planned

A total of 192 elective procedures were axed by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) between October and December.

That was a 5.4 per cent drop from 203 cancellations in the previous quarter and a 13.5 per cent fall from 222 in the same period in 2017.

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Five patients were not then treated within 28 days, according to the NHS England data for October to December.

A trust spokesman said: “At WWL the main reasons for cancelling operations are: bed shortages, lack of theatre time and emergency case prioritisation.

“These are the main operational issues WWL faces daily. However, the main reason for on-the-day cancellations is a lack of beds and associated out of theatre time whilst staff either try to find a bed, or as a result of delay in being able to either discharge back from theatre, recover a patient to a ward or being able to call the patient whilst we wait for a bed to come available.

“These scenarios arise when the hospital is under extreme pressure through the number of acutely ill patients in beds or the number of attendances through A&E.

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“In order to reduce last minute cancellations due to beds, WWL decided, and was later followed-up nationally, to not operate on routine patients that required an overnight bed and focus on day cases and our most acutely ill patients. This has proven to be extremely successful although waiting times for some of our routine patients have increased.”

The NHS classes “last minute” as cancelled on the day the patient was due to arrive, after the patient has arrived or on the day of the operation.

Further data from NHS England shows no urgent operations were cancelled by the trust in December.