Operations axed again now ward beds fill up
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.”