Last Minute Hospital Cancellations Cost Patients and NHS Dear - Brake

December 20, 2007 8:57 AM

A parliamentary answer released to Tom Brake MP, Lib Dem London Spokesman and MP for Carshalton and Wallington, earlier in December reveals that some London hospitals have seen nearly a four fold increase in the number of cancellations in the last five years.

The London-wide picture is healthier with the number of last minute hospital cancellations dropping from 67,000 to 52,000 between 2002/3 and 2006/7.

The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust saw last minute cancellations rise from 42 to 165 nearly a four-fold increase.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust had the highest number of cancellations at 906 (falling from 2,168 to 906).

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust had the second highest number of cancellations rising 554 to 866.

Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and St George's also saw significant rises from 504 to 614 and 354 to 666 respectively.

Tom Brake said, "Every last minute cancellation means heartache for the patient and NHS money washed down the drain. The NHS has got to get smarter in managing its people and resources so patients are not turned away from operating theatres."

Tom Brake has written to Ruth Carnall, the Chief Executive of NHS London, to ask her what lessons the worst performing hospitals are learning from the best performers regarding hospital cancellations.

Notes to the editor

The full parliamentary question and answer can be viewed on the following link.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm071210/text/71210w0073.htm#07121183009627

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