News

04.01.18

Hunt apologises for cancelled ops despite PM’s ‘better prepared than ever’ claim

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has officially apologised to patients for the thousands of operations which have been postponed across the country.

Speaking to the BBC, Hunt said he was sorry that the NHS “regrettably” had to cancel huge numbers of non-emergency elective procedures, in an attempt to ease the enormous pressures on the system this winter.

Despite this, prime minster Theresa May has claimed that the health service was “better prepared for this winter than ever before.”

She said there were more beds available going into the busiest period of the year and that delayed transfers of care had been reduced to increase the space available for patients in hospitals – but before Christmas had begun, hospitals were already reporting bed occupancy levels as high as 95%.

Operations throughout England, already postponed until mid-January, have now been cancelled until the end of the month on the back of recommendations from the National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP) earlier this week.

Some NHS organisations are going to extreme lengths to deal with the massive increase in demand, with NHS Lanarkshire in Scotland calling on backroom office staff to work in cleaning and administrative roles as its hospitals were hit by “unparalleled” stress on services.

Hunt said: “I want to apologise for the fact that we have had to, regrettably, postpone a number of operations.”

He went on to say that the Department of Health was trying to do things differently this year, after winter pressures last year left huge numbers of operations called off and hospitals unable to guarantee safety.

May has since apologised, saying she understands that the situation is “difficult”, “frustrating” and “disappointing” for people who have had their operations postponed.

However, skyrocketing demand has still hit the system hard, with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) reporting 50% more calls than during the same period in 2016-17 – and therefore having to turn to private services – and GPs urging people with less serious conditions to try not to use services unless it is completely necessary.

Top image: Peter Byrne

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 >

latest news

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 >

editor's comment

26/06/2020Adapting and Innovating

Matt Roberts, National Health Executive Editorial Lead. NHE May/June 2020 Edition We’ve been through so much as a health sector and a society in recent months with coronavirus and nothing can take away from the loss and difficulties that we’ve faced but it vital we also don’t disregard the amazing efforts we’ve witnessed. Staff have gone above and beyond, whole hospitals and trusts have flexed virtually at will to meet demand and pressures and we’ve... read more >

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 >

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' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

September 2020

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11

featured articles

View all News