156 Operations Cancelled Last Minute

Over three months 156 patients had operations cancelled on the day they were due to have surgery at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.

The most common reasons for delays between April and June were other operations taking longer than expected, emergency cases and fewer beds because of hospital bugs.

Elaine Hobson Chief Operating Officer at the RD&E : “There were 17,545 elective operations carried out at the RD&E in the first quarter (April – June 2010). The Trust recognises that any cancellation is a disappointment for the patient and the we do everything we can to ensure that operations are not cancelled. Cancelling an operation would only be done if we thought patient safety and care would be compromised.

“In a busy acute hospital the situation changes rapidly and constantly throughout the day. This is particularly so during the winter period which starts at the end of September and continues on in to early spring for the hospital. This year it saw an increase in hospital admissions and emergency attendances due to extreme weather conditions. During this quarter the hospital managed an outbreak of the vomiting & diarrhoea bug Norovirus which also reduces bed capacity.

“Reduction in cancellations of operations is something the Trust is always looking to improve on and a number of initiatives have already been put in place to achieve this.”