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Call for surgery hubs to tackle NHS backlog

Surgeons are calling for specialist hubs in England to help tackle what they call a "colossal backlog" of non-urgent operations because of COVID-19.

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) wants a network of hospital sites focused on routine surgery, such as hip and knee replacements.

The government says it is working "to accelerate the recovery of services".

In March, around five million patients were waiting for surgery - the highest number since modern records began.

Prof Neil Mortensen, president of the RCS, said the pandemic has had a devastating impact on surgical services - and that it must not be allowed to happen again.

"Surgery must be available on the NHS all year round, not stop and start," he said, adding that a "New Deal for Surgery" was required to help weather future pandemics. If a dangerous new variant of COVID-19 takes hold, or another bad flu arrives in the autumn, we cannot allow surgery to grind to a halt again or waiting lists will become insurmountable."

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Source: BBC News, 28 May 2021



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