Nottingham hospitals' plan for cancelled ops

Queen's Medical Centre
Image caption Almost 600 on-the-day operations were cancelled between January and April.

Bosses at Nottingham's hospitals have admitted more could have been done to deal with a crisis which led to almost 600 operations being cancelled.

Nottingham's Joint Health Scrutiny Committee heard at least 550 on-the-day operations were cancelled in the first four months of 2012.

Nottingham University Hospitals said a surge in emergency patients in the winter led to a shortage of beds.

The trust has been asked to report to the committee every three months.

Jenny Leggott, deputy chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals, said: "We will be looking at whether there are things we can put into place before the winter which means we can cope better with the peaks and troughs which have been a feature of this winter.

"We will get an independent company or person to come in and look at what actually happened over the winter and analyse everything that happened."

The trust added there would be eight more intensive care beds later this month and by September, 48 extra hospital beds.

Orthopaedic surgery is moving from the Queen's Medical Centre to the City Hospital in a bid to separate emergency operations from planned operations.

Winter pressures

Ginny Klein, from the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, said: "I think they definitely could have done something much sooner.

"They knew in January this situation was arising and it may be they thought the winter pressure would be over by February so nobody thought to see it as an urgent matter but then they got this sudden spike and it became much more acute."

Chris Leslie, Labour MP for Nottingham East, added: "The hospital management seems to be saying there was a surge in the number of people turning up in the emergency department in the winter months.

"But there still ought to be the capacity available in the hospital to cope with these sorts of surges.

"When I've met with the managers, they haven't really pinpointed why there was such a surge in demand so I think they need an independent review to make sure this situation does not happen again."

Ms Leggott added the hospital had four systems for booking operations so a full, accurate picture would be published by July.

The latest NHS statistics showed for the first three months of the year 456 operations were cancelled on the day by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, the highest number out of 181 NHS trusts listed.

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