New data obtained by Labour under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed a huge increase in the number of cancelled operations caused by staffing issues and equipment failures – in other words for non-clinical reasons.
Last year, 78,981 operations were cancelled nationally. These operations, some classed as urgent, were cancelled at the last minute often after the patient had already arrived at hospital. The number of operations cancelled because of staffing issues and equipment failures have each increased by a third in the last two years.
Figures for Surrey and Sussex NHS Trust show that there has been close to a 30% increase in these cancelled operations over the past three years affecting a total of 3397 local people.
Commenting on the findings, Labour Parliamentary Candidate Peter Lamb said: “The simple truth is that under the Tories, patients always wait longer for vital care, but when you see really local figures like these you realise it is a price being paid by way too many decent people right here in Crawley.
“This is about the lack of proper funding for our NHS. With over 100,000 staff vacancies nationally and increasing cuts to the Capital Budgets the staff that remain come under enormous pressure. It’s only thanks to our amazing NHS staff that these figures aren’t worse. They are clearly doing their best every day, but without adequate funding their hands are tied.
“That’s why this general election is about the future of the NHS and ensuring quality care for all. Only Labour will fully fund our NHS and safeguard it from a Trump deal sell off that could cost the NHS millions every week.”
Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “That so many more people in pain and distress are forced to endure cancelled operations, including increasingly on the day they were supposed to have treatment, is a shameful indictment of a decade of Tory cutbacks running our NHS into the ground.”