“Unease” over rise in cancelled operations

Welsh Conservatives have today expressed unease over the number of cancelled operations across Wales.


The total rose to 26,312 in 2010-11, from 25,802 during 2009-10.


Operations cancelled by hospitals outnumbered those cancelled by patients in at least three local health board areas – Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Betsi Cadwaladr and Cardiff and Vale.


The figures have been obtained by Welsh Conservatives following a Freedom of Information request.


Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:


“While there will always be a need to cancel operations – by either patient or hospital – the numbers we see here make for very uneasy reading.


“Four health boards have seen increases over the last two years and the number of cancellations by hospitals remains unacceptably high. The Health Minister must look into why this is the case and make every effort to address it.


“Preparing for an operation can be incredibly stressful – particularly for the young and elderly. Subsequent cancellations – especially with little notice - will inevitably cause great discomfort.


“It’s not fair on those who are forced to wait and I want an assurance that these cancellations are not due to staff shortages or any other budgetary pressures caused by Labour’s cuts to the NHS.


“These figures also illustrate a need for increased education and guidance for patients. While rearranging the time of an operation is sometimes unavoidable, the Welsh Labour Government must make sure the cost implications are properly conveyed.”


Total operations cancelled

2009-10: 25,802

2010-11: 26,312

2011-12: 5,417


Total: 57,531