Sunday Mirror

Op­er­a­tions axed again now ward beds fill up

- BY LAURA CON­NOR College · Higher Education · England · United Kingdom · Leeds · NYU Langone Medical Center · British Medical Association · Royal College of Surgeons of England

BRI­TAIN faces a sec­ond na­tional cri­sis as Covid-hit hos­pi­tals halt op­er­a­tions.

At least 16 ma­jor NHS trusts have can­celled elec­tive op­er­a­tions pushed back from the first wave in March – with around nine more set to fol­low.

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple are in se­ri­ous pain and face un­cer­tainty as their health de­te­ri­o­rates.

Mean­while a poll of 6,610 doc­tors in Eng­land by the Bri­tish Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion showed only 15 per cent of them had started catch­ing up on back­logs caused by the first lock­down.

Prof Neil Mortensen, pres­i­dent of the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons, said work was done in sum­mer to get planned surgery restarted, but the UK could now face a worse sit­u­a­tion.

He said: “This is a na­tional cri­sis re­quir­ing a truly na­tional ef­fort.”

Jack Braith­waite, 23, was treated for tes­tic­u­lar can­cer last year but a CT scan in July showed a shadow on his ab­domen.

He had two op­er­a­tions can­celled the day be­fore they were due in the last month at Leeds’ St James’s Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal, which has en­tered its Covid-19 “surge” ca­pac­ity – mean­ing beds are re-pur­posed.

Jack said: “It’s po­ten­tially spread­ing as I just sit and wait.”

Ex­perts sug­gest sep­a­rate “Covid­light” sites where op­er­a­tions can con­tinue as usual. Prof Mortensen said: “That may mean set­ting up hos­pi­tals ex­clu­sively for surgery, away from emer­gency and Covid-19 pa­tients. We need theatre ca­pac­ity in­creased for those who need an op­er­a­tion.”

 ??  ?? SHUT­DOWN Back­logs will in­crease as surgery is can­celled
SHUT­DOWN Back­logs will in­crease as surgery is can­celled
 ??  ?? FEARS Prof Mortensen
FEARS Prof Mortensen

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