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NHS doing fewer operations as theatres go unused

PUBLISHED

The push to tackle the hospital backlog is being undermined by the struggle to get services back to full strength.

A BBC analysis shows the expected surge in new patients has not yet happened.

Instead, the waiting list in England is growing because the NHS is carrying out fewer operations and treatments than it was before Covid, despite a government push to boost capacity.

Surgeons said it was really frustrating as operating theatres were not being used due to a lack of beds and staff.

They say it is not unusual to find surgery cancelled at the last minute as staff are unavailable or intensive care and ward beds are full with other patients.

"It's tough on patients and tough on staff who want to get on and treat patients," said Tim Mitchell, vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

"Without treatment, the health of patients can deteriorate. Not only do we need to get back to where we were before the pandemic, we need to do more if we are going to tackle the backlog."

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Source: BBC News, 13 October 2022

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