930 children’s operations locally cancelled over past five years

4 Apr 2023

245 children's operations have been cancelled at hospitals locally last year, many due to a shortage of staff and beds, shocking figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The data, obtained by the Liberal Democrats through Freedom of Information requests, shows that 512 children's operations have been cancelled due to a lack of beds and 80 due to staff shortages since 2018. Another 54 were cancelled due to equipment problems, such as machines being faulty or not being available.

Some children at the local NHS trust were left waiting up to 1,000 days for an operation, the data suggests.

245 children's operations were cancelled locally in 2022, an increase of 38% compared to the year before.

The Liberal Democrats are urging the government to come up with a rescue plan to bring health services back from the brink. This would include bringing in a proper plan to tackle workforce shortages in the NHS, investing in newer equipment and increasing bed capacity at local hospitals.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat opposition leader on Leicestershire County Council Michael Mullaney said:

"Behind these shocking figures are countless children and parents in our community having to wait in pain and distress.

"Years of neglect by this government have led to chronic staff shortages and a lack of hospital beds, and now local families are paying the price.

"The Liberal Democrats are calling for a rescue plan now to bring local health services back from the brink. That must include increasing bed capacity and tackling staff shortages so people aren't left waiting so long for the care they deserve."

Full data broken down by local NHS trust is available here.

The Liberal Democrats are demanding a rescue plan for the NHS and care. This would include:

Recruit an extra 8,000 GPs to deliver 65 million more appointments a year, taking pressure off hospitals and getting patients the urgent attention they need.

Boosting capital investment in the health service, including increasing the number of hospital beds and investing in newer equipment.

Introduce a Carer's Minimum Wage for social care workers to stem the exodus of staff and ensure hospitals can discharge their patients safely and efficiently.

Ensure the Government brings forward their NHS workforce plan now, and fully fund pay rises for staff so that the NHS doesn't have to stretch its budget even further.

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