A&E crisis sparks 220 lost operations every day as NHS creaks under weight of Covid fallout
- More than 220 patients a day having vital operations cancelled in A&E crisis
- Patients needing surgery already on waiting list plunged into further misery
- True number of cancelled operations likely to be much higher than reported
More than 220 patients a day are having vital operations cancelled because of the crisis in overwhelmed A&E units.
The Royal College of Emergency Medicine found that 6,726 elective care operations were cancelled last month, on top of 6,335 in October.
It said ‘unsustainable’ pressures linked to the casualty crisis and the collapse in social care was ‘impacting and derailing’ routine care, making it impossible to tackle the Covid backlog.
More than 220 patients a day are having vital operations cancelled because of the crisis in overwhelmed A&E units (File image)
It means patients needing surgery including hip and knee replacements, who have often already been waiting in agony for months, are being plunged into further misery.
The true number of cancelled operations is likely to be much higher as the report is based on survey data from 50 NHS trusts, a third of the total.
One in 13 people attending A&E in the past two months endured a ‘trolley wait’ of 12 hours or longer. And just 62 per cent of patients were seen within the four-hour target.
NHS leaders say around 10,000 hospital beds are occupied by elderly people who could be looked after in the community.
Dr Adrian Boyle, of the royal college, said: ‘The core of the issue is poor patient flow throughout the hospital and exit block caused by difficulties in discharging patients.’
NHS waiting lists for routine care are already at a record 5.83million.