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NHS trust cancels all routine operations for three weeks

Some hospitals in Scotland have been told to postpone surgeries to ‘decongest’ the system as the crisis in the health service deepens.

A group of NHS hospitals has stopped routine surgery for three weeks in an unprecedented step, as pressures mount on the health service. Health bosses at the NHS Ayrshire & Arran trust warned of “extremely high demand” across the system, as they also asked GPs to see only urgent cases.

Rishi Sunak has repeatedly urged trusts to avoid cancelling elective surgery, urging hospitals not to repeat the errors made in the pandemic, which resulted in record backlogs.

Clare Burden, the chief executive of NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said the cancellations were necessary "due to a combination of staff absence across the system, high bed occupancy levels in our acute and community hospitals, high levels of flu and Covid in our community, some delayed transfers of care, and high volumes of frail patients whose recovery includes complex care.”

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Source: The Telegraph, 11 January 2023


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