A&E crisis sparks 220 lost operations every day as NHS creaks under weight of Covid fallout 

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  • Critical operations of more than 220 patients canceled in a day in A&E crisis
  • Patients already in need of surgery on the waiting list were further troubled
  • The exact number of canceled tasks is likely to be much higher than reported

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Critical operations of over 220 patients a day are being canceled due to the crisis in heavy A&E units.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine found that 6,726 elective care operations were canceled last month, on top of 6,335 in October.

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It said the ‘unsettling’ pressures associated with the casualty crisis and the decline in social care were to ‘affect and derail’ routine care, making it impossible to deal with the Covid backlog.

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Critical operations of over 220 patients a day are being canceled due to the crisis in heavy A&E units (file image)

That means patients who need surgery, including hip and knee replacements, who often wait months in agony, are being put into more misery.

The exact number of actions canceled is likely to be much higher as the report is based on survey data from 50 NHS trusts, a third of the total.

One in 13 people who attended A&E in the past two months experienced a ‘trolley wait’ of 12 hours or more. And within the target of four hours, only 62 percent patients were seen.

NHS leaders say around 10,000 hospital beds hold elderly people who can be cared for in the community.

Dr Adrian Boyle from the Royal College said: ‘The core of the issue is poor patient flow throughout the hospital and exit blocks due to difficulties in discharging patients.’

The NHS waiting list for routine care already stands at a record 5.83 million.

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