Almost 1,000 operations cancelled in three months in Lincolnshire

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Nearly 1,000 operations were cancelled in Lincolnshire in the first three months of 2015, the trust which runs hospitals in the county has said.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust revealed that 930 operations were cancelled from the beginning of January to the end of March this year.

By comparison, 421 operations were cancelled in the same period in 2014 – a rise of 121%.

In the 2014-2015 financial year, a total of 104,000 operations were performed in Lincolnshire’s hospitals.

Kevin Turner, Deputy Chief Executive of ULHT, said: “We’re obviously disappointed with the figures and the percentage of cancellations is higher than we would want it to be.

“We faced challenges last winter as we were restricted in the number of beds we could open safely due to the shortage of registered nurses in the county which we are actively looking to address.

“Similarly, we had problems discharging patients as people needed to stay in A&E beds for longer than was expected. The knock-on effect of this was that we had to cancel some operations.”

The deputy chief executive added that the trust was implementing a strategy to address the problem of cancelled operations.

He said: “To deal with the problems, we’re working with CCGs and social care groups to come up with a Clinical Assessment Service to divert people from the front door of hospitals and provide patients with more effective care. This should be in place by November this year.

“Secondly, we’re working to reduce the length of stay for patients by speeding up the diagnostics process and by putting into place discharge planning as soon as someone comes in.

“Finally, we are looking at getting patients discharged from hospital quicker and providing them with better support in their own homes by working with our partners and joining up the services we provide.

“With this in mind, I’m confident that we’ll be as well prepared as we can be in Lincolnshire to deal with the challenges this winter.”

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