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.

A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.

Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.

This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.

In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there

“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.

“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.

“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.

“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.

“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post).  A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.

“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”

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