Thousands of operations have been cancelled due to staff shortages
Thousands of operations have been cancelled due to staff shortages

New data obtained by Labour through FOIs has revealed a huge increase in the number of cancelled operations because of staffing issues and equipment failures.

Last year, 78,981 operations were cancelled in England. These operations were either classed as urgent or were elective operations cancelled at the last minute – either on the day the patient was due to arrive in hospital or after they had already arrived. 1,381 operations were cancelled across the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which includes Fairfield General Hospital.

The number of operations cancelled in England because of staffing issues and equipment failures have each increased by a third in two years. Last year 10,900 were cancelled because of staffing issues and 4,800 were cancelled because of equipment failures. Across the Northern Care Alliance, 874 were cancelled because of staffing issues between 2016-2019 and 140 were cancelled because of equipment failures.

There are currently over 100,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, with shortages of 10,000 doctors and 43,000 nurses. Cuts to NHS Capital Budgets have left the health service with a £6.5 billion repair bill.

Speaking after visiting Fairfield General Hospital with James Frith, Jonathan Ashworth, 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.

“The simple truth is under the Tories, patients wait longer and longer for vital care. This general election is about the future of the NHS and ensuring quality care for all.

“Labour will fully fund our NHS, recruit the doctors and nurses we need and safeguard our NHS from a Trump deal sell off that could cost the NHS £500 million a week. To do that we need to re-elect Labour MPs like James Frith to fight for our NHS in Bury and elsewhere”

James Frith, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Bury North, said:

“Cancelled operations are just one example of this Tory-made crisis in our NHS.

“I brought Jon here to meet the NHS staff working incredibly hard this winter to keep vital services running, but under the Tories they’re struggling with limited resources and huge shortages in nurses and doctors.

“If I am re-elected as Bury’s MP I will keep fighting to bring the investment and funding we need to our hospital and NHS services across Bury, including improving GP access and protecting our walk-in service.”

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