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Urgent children’s ops routinely cancelled due to covid pressure


Dozens and potentially hundreds of urgent operations for children have been cancelled during the third wave of the covid pandemic, HSJ can reveal.

There are also concerns that national guidance for prioritising surgery “disadvantages” young people.

Several well placed sources told HSJ that urgent operations for children have been delayed in recent weeks because of covid pressures. This is because of a combination of staff being diverted to help with adults sick with covid, and space in children’s facilities — including intensive care — being taken over for adult covid care, as well as other staff being absent due to covid.

The royal college of surgeons has told HSJ that urgent children’s operations “are increasingly being cancelled around the country”.

Dozens and potentially hundreds of children’s operations rated as priority two — those which are urgent and should be carried out within a month — have been cancelled and delayed in recent weeks in the capital, according to several well placed sources. This is alongside potentially thousands of priority three operations being cancelled, which are those needing to be carried out within three months.

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Source: HSJ, 31 January 2021

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