NHS England advises trusts to cancel operations this winter as system ‘buckles’

NHS England has told trusts to cancel routine operations and outpatient appointments to take strain off A&E departments this winter, amid warnings the system is already buckling under pressure.

The plans are outlined by NHS England in a submission to the Commons Health Committee’s inquiry in to how the NHS is preparing to cope with the usual increase in admissions expected over the winter months.

But GP leaders warned the NHS is under too much pressure all year round and called for an urgent cash injection to expand capacity across the whole system.

The plans from NHS England, drawn up in conjunction with the Department of Health and NHS Improvement, state that hospital trusts will be expected to have ‘specific plans in place for winter, which will be assured regionally and nationally’.

They will include trusts ‘cancelling some outpatient activity to free senior decision makers to enhance ward presence and accelerate discharge where appropriate’ and ‘reducing admitted elective activity immediately prior to Christmas to create non-elective capacity’.
Full story in Pulse 22 August 2016