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More than 1,000 patients in one region awaiting urgent cancer surgery

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More than 1,000 people needing urgent cancer surgery in London have no date for their treatment, HSJ can reveal.

A document leaked to HSJ showed that, at the end of last week, more than 1,000 of London’s cancer surgery patients without an appointment date were defined as P2 (priority two), meaning they needed to be seen within four weeks or risk their condition worsening.

The report seen by HSJ also showed more than 300 P2 patients had their surgery postponed in the past week, a statistic NHS England London has so far refused to disclose.

Hospitals in the capital are facing their highest-ever COVID-19 occupancy rates, with surgical lists at many trusts being cancelled.

Meanwhile, a separate NHSE London document reported in the press this week revealed: “Most NHS Green sites [those cancer surgery sites intended to be covid-free to avoid risk to very frail patients] are now compromised with only a limited number of cases being undertaken in NHS sites this week”.

The papers also said the current plans to increase indepedent sector capacity usage were “insufficient to offset the NHS shortfall”, and noted there was a two week lead-in time to move patients into private hospitals “based on clinical rotas, theatre bookings, [and] patient isolation”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 12 January 2021

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