latest health care news

28.02.18

Kent trust forced to cancel non-urgent ops as ‘beast from the east’ bites

Medway NHS FT has been forced to cancel a number of non-urgent procedures this week as the freezing temperatures and icy conditions have caused a staffing shortage.

The trust, which primarily runs the Medway Maritime Hospital, says it has begun contacting patients who were scheduled to have operations to explain these “short-term changes.”

The decision to cancel operation comes as Britain is in the middle of an extreme period of cold weather, with snowy conditions and temperatures reaching as low as -12°C overnight.

Trust chief executive Leslie Dwyer said low staffing levels had been coupled with a high number of patients not able to turn up to operations because of difficulty travelling.

She explained: “With the difficulties in travelling, school closures and similar issues also having an impact on our staffing levels, we have taken the decision to cancel some of our non-urgent planned operations and outpatient appointments to ensure we can deploy our staff where they are needed most.”

Officials at the trust also said that anyone concerned about their own scheduled procedures should contact the hospital to ensure there had been no changes.

While non-urgent operations have been cancelled, Medway Maritime will continue to offer its full range of emergency and urgent care, as well as procedures for cancer patients and other urgent cases.

The news follows some of the most extreme winter pressures in NHS history over the Christmas period, with NHS England advising hospitals to enforce a nationwide ban on non-urgent operations, similar to Medway’s own policy.

Conditions became so poor that some hospitals were forced to use volunteer office staff to help with frontline services, as already low staffing levels were further impacted by poor transport options and an increase in the number of emergency patients.

Top images: Mark Reckless

 Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

interviews

Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

11/09/2020Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

As part of Organ Donation Week, NHE’s Matt Roberts spoke with our Man... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

18/09/2020NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

Paul Chrisp, Director of the Centre for Guidelines, NICE When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK’s shores earlier this year, the NHS responded quickly, diverting and ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >