Stop non-urgent surgeries?

NHS crisis could be helped by stopping non-urgent operations for two months

NHS crisis 'could be alleviated' by stopping non-urgent operations for two months of the year - The Courier

A Tory MSP has slapped down a suggestion to stop non-urgent surgeries for two months of the year.

Nick Scriven, from the Society of Acute Medicine, said a hiatus on elective operations in January and February could be the "radical solution" required to relieve pressure on the NHS.

Bill Bowman, the Scottish Conservative MSP, said any expansion of the "seasonal shut-down" will let down patients.

NHS Tayside said they are not looking at taking up the proposal raised by Dr Scriven.

Health boards across Scotland stopped performing planned surgeries for periods over the winter to ease the burden on a service overwhelmed by A&E visits.

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What if my NHS surgery or operation is cancelled at the last minute?

If the hospital cancels your operation at the last minute for non-clinical reasons, they should offer you a new date for your operation. This date should be within 28 days of the date your operation was originally booked for. This is a pledge in the NHS Constitution.

This 28-day standard covers all planned and booked hospital operations, including day surgery (where you don’t need to stay in hospital overnight). It doesn’t cover minor operations carried out at outpatient appointments or clinics.

What does ‘at the last minute’ mean? This means that the hospital cancels your operation:

on the day you’re due to arrive in hospital after you’ve arrived in hospital on the day that your operation or surgery is due to take place What are non-clinical reasons? There are many non-clinical reasons for hospitals cancelling operations, such as:

no beds are available on the ward no critical care beds are available staff are not available, such as the surgeon, anaesthetist or operating theatre staff an emergency case had to take priority in the operating theatre operations took longer than expected, so the list of operations over-ran some equipment isn't working there has been an administrative error What if I’m offered a new date that doesn’t suit me? If you’re offered another date within 28 days, but the new date is not convenient, you can choose to be treated on a different date, even if this falls after the 28 days.

What if I’m not offered a new date within 28 days? In this case, you can choose to:

stay on the list for your operation with your existing consultant and hospital, or be treated at another time and hospital of your choice; the existing hospital will pay for this If you have not been offered an appointment within 28 days, you should contact the organisation (Clinical Commissioning Group or NHS England) that commissions and funds your treatment.

If you are not happy with the organisation’s response, you also have the option of taking the complaint further using the NHS complaints procedure.

What if my operation is cancelled before the day I was due to arrive in hospital? The cancelled operations pledge does not apply, but you still have the right to start consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral for non-urgent conditions, as stated in the NHS Constitution.

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Daily Telegraph

NHS hospitals ordered to cancel all routine operations in January as flu spike and bed shortages lead to A&E crisis

The trust said it had received 19,000 calls to 999 in the week which just ended - one quarter more than the same time last year - while coping with 40 per cent more 111 calls.

Some patients who would normally be sent an ambulance were now being asked if they could make their own way to hospital, with help from relatives, the trust said.

East of England Ambulance Service, also at maximum capacity, said some patients were being sent taxis to get them to hospital, with paramedics stuck in ambulances queuing at hospitals for more than 500 hours in the last four days.

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