Children’s health at high risk as surgery cancellations surge to five-year high

New report reveals that because of the NHS crisis, thousands of children’s operations were cancelled last year.

According to a new study, 14,628 paediatric operations in England will be cancelled in 2022 due to a lack of beds.

A Liberal Democrat investigation found that cancellations have increased by a quarter to the highest level in at least five years.

Some children have been waiting for treatment for more than three years.

“This is a badge of shame for the Government,” said party leader Ed Davey.

“Behind these statistics are countless children and parents who are in pain and distress.”

“Years of neglect have resulted in chronic staff shortages and a shortage of hospital beds, with communities across the country bearing the brunt of the consequences.”

According to Freedom of Information requests from 77 NHS hospital trusts, nearly 4,000 cancellations were due to a lack of ward beds.

Another 2,894 had to be rescheduled due to staff shortages, with another 1,100 thwarted because operating rooms ran out of time or were over-booked.

The total increased by 23% from 11,870 in 2021 and surpassed the 12,984 in 2019.

NHS Providers, which represents hospital executives, stated that children’s services are under “severe strain.”

The children who have been on waiting lists the longest have been on them for more than three years, with at least four being delayed by more than 1,000 days.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief of NHS Providers, stated that there are “significant shortages of beds, staff, and equipment.”

“It’s really important that children and young people receive timely treatment given their developmental needs and to avoid the need for more care later on,” she added.

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