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UK to address surgery cancellations

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

"There is no room for complacency." This is how the UK's Department of Health underlined its commitment to tackle surgery cancellations, in light of data released today. In England, during the period July-September (Q2 2006-07), 12,275 operations (0.8% of all elective surgery) were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons, a small improvement on the 13,058 of Q2 2005-06. Delays in re-arranging the operation, although significantly better than a year ago, remain a source of concern: 637 (5.2%) cases were not treated within 28 days; last year, the figure was 1,160 (8.9%). At the end of October 2006, the number of patients waiting in England over 13 weeks for an operation stood at 188,300, down 2.3% from September and 9.4% since October 2005. The NHS performs 662,000 more operations per year now than in 1997, the DoH notes.

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