NHS hospitals told to cancel pre-planned operations

Dr Richard Fawcett who works at the Royal Stoke University Hospital apologised for the third world conditions at this A&E department

Dr Richard Fawcett who works at the Royal Stoke University Hospital apologised for the third world conditions at this A&E department

Patients across the United Kingdom have had to cancel non-urgent treatments until the end of the month according to NHS England.

The situation has come about because ambulance services are struggling to cope with a surge in calls on top of a recruitment crisis of paramedics.

Hunt admitted there were "real pressures" facing the health service as NHS England urged hospitals to defer routine procedures such as hip replacements until the end of January to free up hospital beds and staff.

Meanwhile the public has helped by largely listening to appeals around making the appropriate choices if they feel unwell this winter, and by taking note of patient visiting rules.

On Tuesday one of the trust's emergency consultants took to social media to apologise to people attending the hospital's A&E unit as national bosses ordered the cancellation of all non-urgent surgery across the country until at least February.

According to the National Emergency Pressures Panel (NEPP), the NHS has been under sustained pressure over the Christmas period with high levels of respiratory illness, high bed occupancy levels, and early indications of increasing flu prevalence.

Some operations and procedures have been cancelled or postponed at two of West Sussex's biggest hospitals.

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"We're saying actually we want to do this in a measured, structured way so we set up an independent group of very senior doctors who look at the latest information, the pressures in the system, what's happening with flu and so on".

As well as the cancelling of non-urgent treatments, such as knee and hip replacements, hospitals have been given the green light to put patients on mixed sex wards and to bring Global Positioning System into A&E to help deal with patients.

She added: "Patient safety is being compromised - there's no doubt about that".

Health secretary Shona Robison said: "Our NHS and community health service do a fantastic job all year round but there is no doubt that winter can bring additional demands, and I'd like to thank them once again for the dedication they have shown during this busy winter period".

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the county's hospitals, has said that it has seen a high number of very sick patients in recent days.

It was not uncommon for an A&E to have 20 to 40 patients waiting for a ward bed, he claimed, adding: 'In some cases, I've heard of 50 patients in an emergency department waiting for a bed.

"Local people can help by not attending A&E for conditions which they could wait and see their GP for".

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