Elin Jones reveals extent of cancelled NHS ops

A Freedom of Information request by Plaid Cymru has revealed that there were 174,996 cancelled operations at hospitals in Wales during 2013-14, 2014-15 and the first six months of 2015-16. This is an average of 1,346 operations being cancelled every week.

The problem highlights the need for measures to increase recruitment of nurses and doctors, as proposed by Elin Jones.

Bronglais Hospital

The figures showed that there were more than 6,600 cancellations because ward beds were not available, more than 16,000 as a result of clinical staff being unavailable and over 2,700 were called off because equipment was not available.

Locally, in the Hywel Dda Health Board area alone there have been 27,821 cancellations during the period, including 3,413 at Bronglais, 8,924 at Glangwili and 5,778 at Withybush.

Ceredigion’s Elin Jones AM, Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Health, said:

“Every cancelled operation only serves to increase further the dire waiting times patients face for many operations. It is important to remember the distress a cancellation can cause to patients that might have been waiting a long time in pain for an operation.

“Patients must also ensure resources are not wasted and operations cancelled as a result of failing to turn up or not informing their hospital in time if the appointment is inconvenient. Too many are cancelled for these reasons.

“There’s a clear need for additional staff in hospitals such as Bronglais, which would reduce cancellations. Plaid Cymru has been raising the matter of workforce planning with the Labour Welsh Government at every opportunity; this has been a long-term issue which should have been tackled by now.

“The staff of the NHS do a great job, often in difficult circumstances, and the health service is rightly highly valued by the public. But there is clearly need to ensure that within hospitals much more is done to reduce the unnecessary cancellation of operations to a minimum.

“Under a Plaid Cymru government we would recruit 1,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses and cut unnecessary red tape.”

Read more here about Elin Jones's plan to train more doctors in Wales.

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