Over 20,000 NHS operations were cancelled at the last minute during the first quarter of 2015. It signals the worst performance in a decade.
More than 20,000 operations were cancelled
NHS England figures reveal that 20,464 operations were cancelled for non-clinical reasons between January to the end of March. This level of cancellations equates to one in every 100, the highest proportion of operations cancelled in two years.
The figures are released in the same week that newly-elected Prime Minister David Cameron renews his pledge of extra NHS funding worth £8bn and an additional 5,000 GPs.
Hospitals are obliged to offer an alternative date or private treatment within 28 days of cancellation but just under 9% of patients were not seen within this limit.
A spokesman for NHS England said: “Cancellations should be avoided wherever possible as we recognise the concerns that patients face when this happens.
“However, the level of cancellations in this quarter has remained low in the context of the millions of operations performed in the NHS each year, and the unprecedented level of demand we have seen across the whole health system this winter.”
Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech on the NHS at a GP surgery in the West Midlands detailing his pre-election pledge of increasing the NHS budget.
A government pledge to hire 5,000 GPs requires half of all medical school graduates to become GPs. The Prime Minister is also expected to bring a greater focus on healthy living and mental health as well as declaring the NHS as the embodiment of his ‘one nation’ politics.
To reduce the risk of a cancelled operation, health insurance can let you choose when you are treated at a private hospital of your choice.
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