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NHS hospital forced to postpone cancer operations as Covid spreads on wards

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Cancer patients have had surgery cancelled because of coronavirus for the first time as pressure mounts on hospitals from the second wave, The Independent has learnt.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has confirmed it had to postpone the operations because of the number of patients needing intensive care beds.

While hospitals across the north of England have been forced to start cancelling routine operations in the last 10 days, maintaining cancer and emergency surgery had been a red line for bosses given the risk to patients from any delays.

Cancer Research UK said it was “extremely concerning” that some operations had been postponed and called for urgent action and investment to make sure treatments were not curtailed further.

In a statement to The Independent, Nottingham University Hospitals medical director Keith Girling said: “We’ve had to make the extremely difficult decision to postpone operations for four of our cancer/pre-cancer patients this week due to pressure on our intensive care units from both Covid-19 and non-covid related emergencies."

“We expect to treat one of the postponed patients next week, and we’re in contact with the others to arrange a new date, which will be imminent. This delay, however short, will be incredibly hard for the patients and their families, and I’m truly sorry for any distress this will have caused.

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Source: The Independent, 27 October 2020

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