Hospital Cancellations Triple In 10 Yrs, Stats Show
Official NHS figures show that nine million people a year are seeing their crucial appointments and operations cancelled, with slots routinely called off at the last minute – nearly triple the number seen ten years ago.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the figures reveal that at some hospitals up to one in every four appointments for outpatients is being cancelled, with people in the south-east and south-west most likely to face such issues.
In all, 8.93 million slots were cancelled in hospitals around England in 2017/2018 – up from the 3.25 million in 2007/2008.
Charities have described the new figures as concerning, saying that a focus on NHS key targets means that not enough attention is being paid to the millions of people whose consultations are now being delayed – sometimes repeatedly.
Health secretary Matt Hancock was quoted by the news source as saying: “We must do everything we can to spare the uncertainty, discomfort and potential harm this can cause while being unafraid to challenge existing ways of doing things to make them work better for patients. The outdated model of outpatient services needs a fundamental overhaul.”
He went on to say that smarter use of tech like online booking systems and digital appointments will help save both time and inconvenience for patients while freeing up resources and staff where outpatient clinics are the better option.
In September last year, University College London research showed that one in seven operations in hospitals around the UK are cancelled on the day of surgery.
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